Fall 2010 First-Year Writing Seminars


Science Meets Spirit: Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Natural Resource Management

Native peoples across the Western hemisphere use knowledge systems that differ fundamentally from those of Western science. Using traditional oral as well as written texts and contemporary writings by Native and non-Native scholars, we will examine the tensions and complementarities of these two knowledge systems. Using Iroquois knowledge systems in the northeast as a focal point, we will examine how they conceptualized their ecosystem and used it for agriculture, comparing it to resource management based on Western science. We will also explore how contemporary indigenous communities negotiate with non-Indian scientists, policy- makers, and legislators across boundaries that reflect very different ways of knowing. Through reading and writing activities, students will critically examine these issues and define their own views on what constitutes knowledge.

TR 08:40–09:55 a.m.     Jane Mt.Pleasant      28500


Common Ground: Education Beyond the Ivory Tower

Earn course credit while learning about and working within the Ithaca community. This course on educational practices in the US combines academics with outreach and offers a unique opportunity for students who desire to be active in tutoring or mentoring in our community to enhance that practice through critical engagement with texts relevant to their experience. Participate in discussions about readings focused on ideologies and practices that have created the current state of education in the US (e.g., Jefferson, Baldwin, Barber, Trask, Leguin, Kozol, Reich). Write essays that explore class, gender, and ethnic diversity and how those components become implicated in how our schools carry out the mission of providing free and public education locally and nationally.

TR 01:25–02:40 p.m.      x-listed w/ Writ 1400 and Engl 1140      28701

The Public Service Center is available to arrange a mentoring partnership with interested students not already active in such a program. Contact Amy Somchanhmavong ayk3@cornell.edu


Media Matters

This course introduces students to the anthropology of media—expanding upon conceptions of the media as detached images—to understand the social relations and cultural processes that accompany production, the representation itself, and audience reception. We will examine concepts of nationalism, transnationalism, and race by drawing from research mainly in the areas of social theory and anthropology, including Benedict Anderson and Arjun Appadurai. We will also explore the ways in which advertising, journalism, television, cinema, and new media are embedded within complex social relationships and historical trajectories. Readings and films take us from India to the Americas, leading us back to the profoundly interconnected world through media. The writing assignments will require students to clarify, build on, and redefine class discussions and readings.

MW 08:40–09:55 a.m.     Reighan Gillam      28428     Hiro Miyazaki


The Pop Psyche

In the last scene of HBO’s Sex and the City, Carrie Bradshaw relates that “the most challenging, exciting, and significant relationship of all, is the one you have with yourself.” Indeed. Within the self, Freud discovered the Id (site of basic drives), the Ego (site of rational activity), and the Super-Ego (site of moral imperatives). Interestingly, the main characters of not only Sex and the City but also South Park embody precisely these three structural positions. In this course, we will consider these protagonists not as interacting individuals, but as constituent components of an individual. In short, we will put the pop psyche on Freud’s couch and see what we can learn about ourselves in the process. The writing assignments will require students to clarify, build on, and redefine class discussions and readings.

TR 08:40–09:55 a.m.     Timothy Haupt      28429     Hiro Miyazaki


Science, Religion, and the Body: Anthropological Appproaches

This course seeks to explore the spaces generated by scientific and religious ideas and practices as they shape and are shaped by the human body. While anthropologists believe that the body is “good to think with,” we will push our bodies (and minds) one step further to traverse the intersections, overlaps, and frictions emerging with twenty-first–century science. We will consider the ways in which questions of science and religion have come to be mediated through the body by the state and larger global contexts. We will also investigate how persuasion is built into religious and scientific texts and learn to write persuasively ourselves. Through the shared processes of reading and writing, we will consider recent scientific scandals and develop an analysis from multiple perspectives.

TR 08:40–09:55 a.m.     Marcie Middlebrooks      28430     Hiro Miyazaki


Transnational Interruptions

Transnationalism: for a global society, it’s a significant term indicating the flows of people, ideas, and goods between and across regions. The question for us, then, is: How does transnationalism disrupt reified cultural categories and complicate analytical boundaries? In addition to reading assigned texts from ethnic and area studies such as Ronald Takaki’s Strangers from a Distant Shore, Paul Gilroy’s Black Atlantic, and Benedict Anderson’s Spectre of Comparisons, students will examine newspapers and articles to identify and share with the class contemporary examples of transnationalism. Discussion will focus on how to destabilize and question disciplinary analytical categories in order to understand the assumptions and contexts behind their construction. In essay assignments, students will apply and expand on theoretical concepts of the course as they relate to current events and to issues of specific interest. Students may also choose to participate in service learning opportunities such as volunteer work with transnational migrant workers, sharing their experiences in discussion and writing.

MWF 12:20–01:10 p.m.     Ivan Small      28431     Hiro Miyazaki


Cigarette Cultures

This course considers how a range of communities are constituted in relation to the cigarette industry. We will examine how actors such as smokers, anti-tobacco advocates, health officials, contract tobacco farmers, and industry executives define themselves and are defined by others. What structural politics underpin the knowledge and practices of these groups? How do assumptions about age, gender, class, race, and ethnicity figure into the constitution of different actors and corporate strategies? In addressing these questions, we will consider debates over the moral, aesthetic, economic, spatial, and bodily dimensions of cigarette production and consumption. In addition to scholarly books and articles, we will analyze and write about a range of popular texts from corporate websites to public health materials, movies, photographs, advertisements, and museums.

MWF 09:05–09:55 a.m.     Marina Welker      28432


Anthropology and the Research University: Ethnography, Critique, and Reform

Research universities are global sites of knowledge creation, preservation, and transmission. Promoting social mobility, conserving the past, and creating some of the future, universities have become complex service organizations that harbor a bewildering array of levels, units, missions, and constituencies. Handling this increasing complexity while creating active learning environments, serving society, and balancing budgets challenges everyone involved. Universities are rarely studied as organizations and cultural systems by the “inhabitants” who know the institution best. In this seminar, we will collaborate in learning how to study complex organizations like Cornell by developing critical ethnographic and analytical skills needed to describe, understand, and write about the university and to participate more effectively in shaping its future.

TR 02:55–04:10 p.m.     Davydd Greenwood      28439


Imaginary Landscapes: People and the Sense of Place

Both anthropological and archaeological studies have demonstrated that humans have a powerful “sense of place” that can influence the ways that we perceive the world and create our cultures. In this course, students will be invited to explore their own “sense of place” in relation to the University, the city of Ithaca, and their wider cultural background. The course will include concepts of exoticism, spatial mnemonics, and the use of the landscape in the construction of culture through readings from Richard Louv’s The Last Child in the Woods and Keith Basso’s Wisdom Sits in Places. In addition, students will study value-laden maps and work on creating such maps of their own immediate surroundings. Writing assignments will include responses to readings, personal narratives, and journals.

MWF 01:25–02:15 p.m.     Maureen Costura      28661     Hiro Miyazaki


The Anthropology of Food and Cuisine

You are what you eat! This course examines the way food is produced, prepared, exchanged, presented, and given meaning in cultures around the world. It will examine the symbolism of specific foodstuffs; who prepares food and how it is done; who feeds whom and how these relations are expressed and valued; ideas about commensality; how food is used in public contexts for presentation or exchange; and how food is a marker of gender, class, status, ethnicity, and identity. In addition to looking specifically at food, we will analyze cultural ideas about gender, the body, and identity in terms of how these cultural patterns are produced and expressed through concrete activities such as eating, fasting, and special diets.

TR 10:10–11:25 a.m.     Jane Fajans      28440


Imaginary Landscapes: People and the Sense of Place

Both anthropological and archaeological studies have demonstrated that humans have a powerful “sense of place” that can influence the ways that we perceive the world and create our cultures. In this course, students will be invited to explore their own “sense of place” in relation to the University, the city of Ithaca, and their wider cultural background. The course will include concepts of exoticism, spatial mnemonics, and the use of the landscape in the construction of culture through readings from Richard Louv’s The Last Child in the Woods and Keith Basso’s Wisdom Sits in Places. In addition, students will study value-laden maps and work on creating such maps of their own immediate surroundings. Writing assignments will include responses to readings, personal narratives, and journals.

MWF 01:25–02:15 p.m.      x-listed w. Anthr 1132      28662

ART HISTORY 1129.101

Blasting the Machine: Questioning Technology Through Art

Over the last decades, media artists and activists have adopted consumer technologies to intervene and participate in mainstream media culture. Their works are exhibited and used in virtual and public spaces such as the internet, supermarkets, health clinics, and museums. Artists create these works from the premise that technologies are not neutral: they carry assumptions about communal culture and the individual body. But we become accustomed to such technologies and their assumptions: they become a “natural” part of our social fabric. In our class, we will survey the strategies that artists and technologists use to highlight the cultural implications of “new” technologies, from the work of SubRosa to Wafaa Bilal and others. For discussion, reading, and writing, students will explore issues raised by these works, identifying critical topics for exploration from both an arts context and beyond.

TR 02:55–04:10 p.m.     Claudia Pederson      28433     Maria Fernandez

ART HISTORY 1133.101

A Sea of Islands: Identity and Art in the Pacific

An exciting adventure into Pacific visual culture awaits you in this journey through “A Sea of Islands.” In this course, we explore the art of Polynesia, Micronesia, and Melanesia to understand how identity is represented in art from pre-contact through globalization. The geographical scope of the course covers Samoa to Guam to Papua New Guinea. We examine a wide variety of art forms including film, performance, body adornment, and Pacific Hip Hop. Key themes include: gender and the body; diaspora and indigeneity; tradition and innovation, etc. To see art on campus, we will visit the Costume and Textile Collection, the McGraw Hall Museum, and the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art. Assignments will develop critical skills in reading, thinking, and writing about art and identity.

TR 02:55–04:10 p.m.     Bernida Webb-Bindeer     28434     Maria Fernandez

ART HISTORY 1134.101

Performing Objects/Collecting Cultures

The twin phenomena of performing and collecting are as old as time, and both require an intense entanglement with words and things. This course will consider the significance of objects and their related texts within the field of art history and, indeed, more widely as they are “performed” and “collected” (sometimes both initiatives occurring simultaneously) in Asian Art and Culture. A series of writing assignments will build on the powerful allure of objects. Students will be encouraged to explore the politics of their ever-shifting biographies, their strategies of selection, designation, fabrication, and, when auspiciously ephemeral, their creative destruction and renewal. Various performative and collective containments will be mapped as they transcend boundaries, cultural and otherwise. Masked dances and their costume elements, clay pots, bronzes, serpentine daggers, miniature paintings and gardens, musical instruments and embroidered story cloths, shadow puppets, spices, exotic flora and fauna, film, fossils, and folktales will be fair game. Classes will be held in the Herbert F. Johnson Museum when appropriate.

MW 02:55–04:10 p.m.     Kaja McGowan      28441

ART HISTORY 1135.101

Representing North Africa in Art: Cairo, Algiers, Tangier

North Africa looms in American popular cultural imaginaries and representations as a space of exoticism, separate from the rules that govern “us.” How can we read these representations, and to what can we compare them? Looking to the alternative representations of three cities as case studies, we will consider particularly the representations of women in Cairo, the war for independence in Algiers, and the border in Tangier. We will consider divergent viewpoints, including films such as Casablanca, theory by Edward Said and Frantz Fanon, literature by Nawal el Saadawi and Laila Lalami, and visual representations by artists such as Yto Barrada. Students will develop ideas on how to critically interpret representation, focusing on building arguments in writing assignments.

TR 01:25–02:40 p.m.     Holiday Powers      28442     Maria Fernandez


Religion and the State in Asia and the West

Jefferson once used the phrase “wall of separation” between church and state, imagining an ideal of secular government. Has this ideal been realized? Do other nations share this ideal? This course looks at problems generated by the entanglement of religion and the state in Asian countries while taking a comparative look at similar problems in the West. Students will be introduced to important theoretical works on secularism, as well as case studies from Asia. The course addresses writing on two levels: the use of writing as a weapon in arguing for or against religion’s involvement with the state, and the use of academic writing to elucidate an understanding of these arguments. Assignments will include role-playing exercises, including a mock debate, in addition to academic essays.

MWF 09:05–09:55 a.m.     Jonathan Young      28443     Anne Blackburn


Women Writing in Southern Africa

In this course, students will explore the works of Southern African women. We will read and respond in discussion and writing to testimonies, films, stories, songs, and many other texts that represent the voices of women in Southern Africa. In our studies, we will discover what the voices of Southern African women are and how their discourse expresses experiences in the countries of South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Swaziland, and Mozambique.

TR 02:55–04:10 p.m.     Sarah Mkhonza      28444


Pan-African Freedom Fighters In Their Own Words

This seminar will examine autobiographical writings and advocacy statements and speeches by selected freedom fighters from Black America, Africa, and the Caribbean. Through written and oral communication, students will explore the ideas, values, activities, and impact of individuals such as W. E. B. DuBois, Marcus Garvey, Amy Jacques Garvey, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, African American Women in the Civil Rights Movement (including Ella Baker, Septima Clark, Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks, Angela Davis), Nelson Mandela, African Women in the South African Anti-Apartheid Struggle (including Winnie Mandela, Ruth Mompati, Mavivi Manzini, Albertina Sisulu), and Bob Marley. Video and film presentations will augment reading, discussion, and writing assignments.

MW 02:55–04:10 p.m.     Locksley Edmondson      28445


The African American Short Story

As a form and genre, the short story’s specific origins within African American literature are traceable back to the antebellum era of the nineteenth century. The foundational contributions to the development of this genre were made by both black male and female authors during the fecund Black literary renaissance of the 1850s, including The Heroic Slave (1853) by Frederick Douglass and The Two Offers (1859) by Frances E. W. Harper. This course will consider the signal works by these early authors, along with selections by a range of others. Its priority and central emphasis will be the refinement of writing skills through the production of a series of short essays on the short stories over the course of the semester and a longer one at the end.

TR 01:25–02:40 p.m.     Riche Richardson      28567


Journey to Justice: African Americans and the Modern Civil Rights Movement, 1940–1980

This course will examine the African American push for civil rights. Students will gain insight into the movement as it evolved from moments of non-violent mass organizing and protests into the realm of Black Power and electoral politics. Through course readings and writing assignments, students will critically engage the following issues: tactics such as nonviolence and self-defense; the tensions between charismatic and group- centered leadership styles; the benefits and liabilities of coalition politics; and the impact of gender, sexuality and class on racial goals.

TR 10:10–11:25 a.m.     Jessica Harris      28463


Greek Myth

The course will focus on the stories about the gods and heroes of the Greeks as they appear in the  works of ancient Greek literature. We will read a selection from Greek authors, inquiring into the relationship between myths and cultural, religious, and political realia of the society in which they were shaped and perpetuated. Alongside the primary texts, we will read a number of recent scholarly works on the subject. We will start by discussing myths in general terms (theories, basic concepts) and will proceed toward the analysis of individual stories and cycles. This fascinating material will serve as a vehicle for improving students’ written communication skills. Assignments will include preparatory writing and six essays focusing on our readings and discussions in class.


Language and Politics: The Question of the Animal

Beginning by debating the question of a firm divide between humans and animals, we will consider the animal in the many diverse and problematic roles it plays as “other” to the human—as object of spectatorship, symbol or totem, scapegoat, experimental creature, object of consumption or possession, and even companion. We may begin to think about the potential of a different kind of otherness—one that challenges our societal and personal beliefs, and one which allows us to rethink the notion of “rights,” of the “subject,” and with it, perhaps even the idea of the human itself. Fictional and critical readings from Aesop, Descartes, Swift, H. G. Wells, Kafka, Woolf, J. M. Coetzee, Barbara Gowdy, and Temple Grandin, vary widely in their audience and style. Through discussion and writing assignments, students will work with (and sometimes against) varied approaches and arguments of these authors.

MWF 02:30–03:20 p.m.     Allison Weiner      28532     Petrus Liu


Writing across Cultures: Poetry’s Image

Where do we get our images of poetry, and of poets? Along with the images we find in poems themselves, how do poetry and poets figure in fiction and film, in philosophy and popular culture? How do such figures inform the images in poems, poetry’s image? In what senses is poetry a “liberal art”? What is its relation to “self,” to language, history, and politics, to other disciplines and discourses? This course will explore such issues in a wide range of short texts in both verse and prose, in fiction, film, and other media. The course’s focus on “poetry image” will encourage students to make the connection between such self-reflexive practices in the texts they’re reading and viewing and the texts they themselves produce in their own writing. Authors that we will study include Plato, Wordsworth, Poe, Dickinson, Baudelaire, Whitman, Rimbaud, Stein, Breton, Stevens, Neruda, Borges, Wittgenstein, Celan, Rich, Brathwaite, Waldrop, Collins, Swenson, and Bolaño.

TR 10:10–11:25 a.m.     Jonathan Monroe      28534


Writing across Cultures: Bacchannal and Bush-tea—The Culture of Caribbean Literature

What if reggae were made literature? Carnival seen as an art exhibit? Voudou read as philosophy? The traditional divide between “high” and “low” culture becomes an especially murky matter in the Caribbean, where the highest of literary texts cannot extricate themselves from the lowly cultural expression of the folk. Caribbean writers, from Walcott to Naipaul to Conde, draw obsessively upon local music, oral culture, spirituality, and masking for both the subject and the shape of their work. The questions this raises about the form, function, and limits of textual production will inform this writing workshop, both in short responses and longer papers. Readings in cultural and literary theory will accompany careful literary analysis.

TR 08:40–09:55 a.m.     Kavita Singh      28535     Petrus Liu


Writing across Cultures: Pictures of Garbage—Images of Waste in Latin American Art and Literature

Garbage is the late material evidence of human interaction with nature. All humans have a meaningful relation to garbage: either they produce the commodities that will be discarded; they buy, use, and discard such commodities; or they scavenge garbage as a living. Although trash is global, the flux of the transnational economy makes it more conspicuous in the third world. There are all sorts of different configurations of the image of waste that we are familiar with: garbage on a curb has a very different significance than a picture of garbage hanging on a museum wall. In this writing seminar, we will explore the image of garbage in Latin America as it is constructed in the work of photographers, filmmakers, and writers such as Vik Muniz, Marcos Prado, Clarice Lispector, Caio Fernando Abreu, among others. Written responses, reports, and essays will train you to use the written word to analyze visual information.

TR 11:40–12:55 p.m.     Marcela Romero Rivera      28536     Petrus Liu


Writing across Cultures: Bacchannal and Bush-tea—The Culture of Caribbean Literature

What if reggae were made literature? Carnival seen as an art exhibit? Voudou read as philosophy? The traditional divide between “high” and “low” culture becomes an especially murky matter in the Caribbean, where the highest of literary texts cannot extricate themselves from the lowly cultural expression of the folk. Caribbean writers, from Walcott to Naipaul to Conde, draw obsessively upon local music, oral culture, spirituality, and masking for both the subject and the shape of their work. The questions this raises about the form, function, and limits of textual production will inform this writing workshop, both in short responses and longer papers. Readings in cultural and literary theory will accompany careful literary analysis.

TR 02:55–04:10 p.m.     Kavita Singh      28537     Petrus Liu


Comparative Arts: Blues of the Ports—Popular Music on the Fringes

New Orleans, Havana, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Seville, Piraeus—port cities have been pivotal sites of cultural exchange, often spawning controversial social identities, rituals, and musical forms. Through a combination of audio and visual media, as well as literary and academic texts, students will examine the musical and cultural life of port cities while learning the fundamentals of critical thought and prose. Surveying musics as disparate as blues and tango and authors as diverse as Claude McKay and Federico Garcia Lorca, students will glean how, on the fringes of civilization, port cities have created an atmosphere favorable for the flowering of some of the world’s most captivating musical traditions.

MWF 09:05–09:55 a.m.     Ryan Dreher      28538     Petrus Liu


Studies in Literary Theory: Literature and Radicality

Can we understand literature as being inherently politically radical? How have literature and literary writing been marshaled not only to question political norms but to dismantle them at their foundations? What kind of agency and political impact can we attribute to literature?  This course will examine a variety of different kinds of radicality in literary form and political content. For instance, we will look at literature that challenges the social standards of its time through various kinds of perversity (Baudelaire) and sexuality (Gide’s The Immoralist), and we will look at explicit political statements (Marx’s The Communist Manifesto). To explore the inherent politically radical nature of literature, class discussions and writing assignments will focus on close reading and developing strong arguments.

MWF 10:10–11:00 a.m.     Tatiana Sverjensky      28669     Petrus Liu


Studies in Literary Theory: The Power of Rhetoric and the Rhetorics of Power

While it may seem an outdated concept, belonging to ancient times, rhetoric, as the form or manner in which we speak, is intimately bound up with everything we read, see, hear, or say—from newspapers and blogs, to TV shows and the arts. What is rhetoric? How does it work? Is there one rhetoric or many? And what is political about it? The course will follow the history of writing about rhetoric towards the modern understanding that the form of language has a determining effect on its content, and that both influence the way we think and act. Reading may include excerpts from Aristotle, Plato, Augustine, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Nietzsche, and others. We will focus on close reading and methods of critical writing.

MWF 11:15–12:05 p.m.     Liron Mor      28670     Petrus Liu


Studies in Literary Theory: Metaphysics, Morality, and Selfhood in the Novel

How can we know the true nature of the world? What standards, if any, guide our action? How, finally, can we know ourselves? This course will examine philosophical and literary responses to these questions; we will trace the intersections and divergences between these different forms of thinking about truth, knowledge, freedom, and personal identity. We will also aim to understand and develop argumentative rigor and stylistic sophistication in writing. Readings may include selections from writers such as Rene Descartes, David Hume, James Joyce, Immanuel Kant, Plato, Thomas Pynchon, and Virginia Woolf.

MW 02:55–04:10 p.m.     Aaron Hodges      28671     Petrus Liu


Studies in Literary Theory: Touching Literature

We often say that we have been “touched” by literature.  At times, we even demand that we be “touched” by literature. We, however, often take for granted this notion of touch. We do not question how literature touches us specifically, if not empirically.  We do not know if literature touches us the same way as we touch another living being. This course addresses these gaps in our understanding of touch in relation to literature. Through readings of texts literary (Schlink’s The Reader, Lispector’s Passion according to G. H.) and theoretical (Cixous, Nancy), and through writing assignments (concept papers, creative writing exercises, and so on), we will seek to construct a critical grasp of touch in literature, and question how it can transform the way we touch (others) in the real world.

MWF 08:00–08:50 a.m.     Irving Goh      28672     Petrus Liu


Studies in Literary Theory: Cyborg Selves

Are we becoming cyborgs? Does it matter? What does the increasingly blurry line between “human” and “technology” mean for our experience of identity and memory (both individual and shared), of freedom, consumption, agency, love, desire—in short, for all the things that tell us who we are in the world we inhabit? Students in this class will examine historical and contemporary examples of cyborgs in literature, film, popular culture, media, and visual art. We’ll read and discuss scholarly writings on cyborgs as well, and work throughout the semester to produce a portfolio of finely crafted, polished essays that address two major questions: How has the not-quite-human figure of the cyborg marked a changing sense of the human condition? And what can it tell us about what it means to be human now, in an age of advanced technology?

MW 08:40–09:55 a.m.     Madeleine Casad      28673     Petrus Liu


Studies in Literary Theory: How To Become A Woman—Literature and a Girl’s Coming of Age

What does it mean in literature to become a woman? How does one leave girlhood behind? And why should we care what literature has to say about it anyway? Through readings of such works as Carson McCullers’s The Member of the Wedding and Marguerite Duras’s The Lover, we will analyze literature’s figurations of a feminine coming of age. At the same time, we will engage with such thinkers as Sigmund Freud, Simone de Beauvoir, and Judith Butler to see how becoming a woman is conceived in theoretical texts. Writing assignments will engage students in a dialog between theoretical and literary texts in order to discover how literature complicates theory and how it formulates the problem differently.

MW 07:30–08:45 p.m.     Carissa Sims      28674     Petrus Liu


Image(s) of the City

This class will use a variety of media, including historic insurance maps, aerial photographs, zoning and land use maps, bird’s eye views, images from current and historical newspapers, and other sources to explore the different points of view or biases that shape these depictions of “reality” in the city. It will also explore how these images have influenced generations of policy decisions, and the lives of those who call the city home. Readings will range from historical works by Jacob Riis and nineteenth-century civic-boosters to modern pieces by Kenneth Jackson, John Reps, Richard Schein, and others. Students will be asked to prepare written responses to both the images of the city presented in class, and to the analysis or descriptions provided in the readings.

MW 02:55–04:10 p.m.     Douglas Appler      28449     John Forester


Social Movements and Collective Action in the Age of Globalization

Globalization processes have had profound economic, social, and cultural consequences on the peoples of both developed and developing countries. The last decade has been marked by what the media has referred to as a rising tide of “anti-globalization protests.” Who are these protestors and what are they protesting against? In this course, we will examine social movement responses to globalization processes. In particular, we will explore how movements channel grievances into collective action by focusing on neighborhood, women’s, indigenous, and environmental groups. We will also investigate how social movements have scaled up mobilization to the global level, and assess whether movements have taken advantage of the opportunities created by globalization. Students will reflect on these issues in short response papers and critical essays.

TR 08:40–09:55 a.m.     Abdulrazack Karriem      28448


Having a Lot on Our Plates: An Introduction to the Sociology of Food

As our food system becomes increasingly globalized, many Americans are becoming concerned about the disconnect we have between our food and where it comes from. In this course, we discuss, read, and write about sociological perspectives on how our food is produced, how it gets to us, and what the implications of these processes are for producers, consumers, and the environment. In a sequence of writing assignments, students will choose a food item to trace through the global processes that carry it from “farm to fork.” Additional writing assignments will draw on our exposure to local perspectives through guest speakers and field trips to places such as the Ithaca Farmers’ Market and Cornell’s student-run organic farm, Dilmun Hill.

TR 10:10–11:25 a.m.     Andrea Woodward      28458     Chuck Geisler


International Conservation: People and the Protection of Biodiversity

Do people need biodiversity? If so, how do we preserve it? And who pays when we protect natural areas? This course uses a sociological lens to examine the construction of the biodiversity concept, how the human-nature relationship has changed throughout history, and the underlying political perspectives that support various positions on conservation. We will also address contemporary debates on conservation strategiesusing case studies to evaluate the efficacy of these competing approaches. Readings will be drawn from social and biological science journals, NGO publications, official documents, and popular environmental literature. Students will improve writing skills through writing in various genres including: rhetorical analysis, exposition, persuasion, and an argumentative research paper.

MW 02:55–04:10 p.m.     Kayte Meola      28459     Chuck Geisler


Medicine, Technology, and Control Over Women’s Bodies

Sexuality, contraception, pregnancy, birth: all of these aspects of women’s health are increasingly subject to scientific and medical knowledge. The shift in expertise about bodies and birth from mothers (and other women) to doctors (and other experts) is accompanied by a shift in power over women’s bodies and their babies. Who benefits and who is burdened by this shift? In this class, we will discuss, read and write about how the extension of medical knowledge to women’s bodies and health both empowers and disempowers women and families. We will engage in a variety of academic and popular resources, and assignments will allow students to practice many different writing styles. Students will also have the opportunity to undertake their own original research.

MWF 01:25–02:15 p.m.     Marygold Walsh-Dilley     28460     Chuck Geisler


Sustainable Earth, Energy, and Environmental Systems

Developing a sustainable society while confronting global change is one of the leading challenges facing our planet during the 21st century. Solving the problem of energy is fundamentally interwoven with the risks

to climate and challenges for food, water, and sustainable ecosystems on land and sea. This course will explore those connections and the inherent environmental tradeoffs. The Sustainable Earth, Energy, and Environmental Systems speaker series will address these topics and their societal connection. Knowledge and critical thinking skills will be developed through reading scientific and popular literature, discussions, writing, and peer review. Writing assignments will provide the students with the foundation for developing the written communication skills of substance, structure, and style intended for both scientific and public audiences.

MWF 08:00–08:50 a.m.     Louise McGarry      28119     Charles Greene

Students are required to attend the Sustainable Earth, Energy, and Environmental Systems speaker series on Mondays 7:30-8:45 p.m. Please choose another writing seminar if your schedule conflicts with the speaker series sessions.


Sustainable Earth, Energy, and Environmental Systems

Our planet currently faces no greater challenge than developing a sustainable society while confronting global climate change. This course explores the connections between energy and sustainability—including challenges for food, water, energy, and threats to sustainable ecosystems—as well as the importance of conveying these challenges beyond the bounds of the scientific community. Knowledge and critical thinking skills will be developed through reading scientific and popular literature, discussions, writing, and peer review. Assignments will provide a foundation for effective written communication skills for a wide spectrum of audiences.

MWF 01:25–02:15 p.m.     Amanda Baker      28120     Charles Greene

Students are required to attend the Sustainable Earth, Energy, and Environmental Systems speaker series on Mondays 7:30-8:45 p.m. Please choose another writing seminar if your schedule conflicts with the speaker series sessions.


Sustainable Earth, Energy, and Environmental Systems

There is an urgent need to develop sustainable solutions to combat climate change and the widespread degradation of ecosystems. In this course, students will study the science that governs environmental challenges related to energy, and explore the impact of various energy technologies on the environment. Students will develop knowledge and critical-thinking skills through reading scientific and popular literature, watching videos, discussions, writing, and peer review. Assignments will help students develop skills needed to write with substance, structure, and style appropriate for a variety of audiences.

TR 02:55–04:10 p.m.     Deborah Sills      28121     Charles Greene

Students are required to attend the Sustainable Earth, Energy, and Environmental Systems speaker series on Mondays 7:30-8:45 p.m. Please choose another writing seminar if your schedule conflicts with the speaker series sessions.

ECONOMICS 1106.101

Climate Change, Economics, and Ethics

The debate over what action should be taken in response to the threat of climate change is plagued with extreme opinions. In order to arrive at a balanced perspective, this course will introduce core economic concepts and apply them to the monumental issue of climate change. We will examine the economic explanation for how the problem arose and the types of solutions that economics offers. Of course, economics is not the whole story. Because of the social ramifications of climate change and international disparities in greenhouse gas emissions, the debate is deeply intertwined with issues of ethics and equity and we will incorporate moral responsibility into our framework. Writing assignments will range from personal responses to critiques to formal, thesis- driven, persuasive essays.

TR 08:40–09:55 a.m.     Corey Lang      28462     Chris Barrett

ENGLISH 1105.101

Writing and Sexual Politics: Lesbians, Transmen, and Bears, Oh My! Masculinities in the Margins

Common sense—or at least Spike TV—would suggest that masculinity is “naturally” the purview of heterosexual men. But is masculinity really more “proper” to some bodies than it is to others? How do butch subjects relate to one another, and to their own masculinity? Indeed, is it even possible to recognize the category “masculinity” across different time periods and cultures? In this course, we will read, discuss, and write about “masculinity” as it is performed and inscribed in the literal and figurative “margins” of social intelligibility—by subjects whose articulations of masculinity are marked as troubling, irrelevant, or seemingly counterintuitive. Course texts may include Woolf’s Orlando, Armory’s Song of the Loon, Bechdel’s Fun Home, and theoretical selections from Halberstam, Rubin, Hennen, Sedgwick, and Wright.

MWF 09:05–09:55 a.m.     Kaelin Alexander      28577     Mary McCullough

ENGLISH 1105.102

Writing and Sexual Politics: All the Single Ladies

From sad spinsters to glamorous bachelorettes, single women in literature and film long for a different life with “Mr. Right” by their side. Or do they? This course is concerned with the often reviled but always riveting figure of the single woman and with her fictional adventures and metamorphoses. The fascination with unmarried women has given us captivating tales of horror, puzzling stories of renunciation, and inspiring coming-of-age narratives. We will consider contemporary images of single women and their 19th- and 20th-century forerunners (from Emily Dickinson to Lily Bart) and look closely at conceptions of gender equality, romantic love, and personal freedom as well as the clichés and conventions that shape them. Writing assignments will include short responses and multi-draft essays.

TR 10:10–11:25 a.m.     Kamila Janiszewska      28578     Mary McCullough

ENGLISH 1105.103

Writing and Sexual Politics: Sexual Relations of Early American Literature

Sex and sexuality weren’t a defining feature of American culture until the 1960s, right? Wrong. In fact, as this course explores, that wouldn’t be true even if we said before the 1860s. In this course, we’ll read, discuss, and write about seduction, queerness, same-sex desire, transgender performance, androgyny, child sexuality, pregnancy, interracial relationships, singleness, polyamory, voyeurism, pornography, prostitution, consent, rape, pleasure, punishment, and more. We’ll encounter these topics in texts from mostly colonial and pre-Civil War America by familiar writers like Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Frederick Douglass, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, and by writers whose work was well-known in its day: Hannah Foster, Julia Ward Howe, Harriet Jacobs, Horatio Alger, and others. Written work will be both formal and informal, practiced on paper and online.

MW 08:40–09:55 a.m.     Jonathon Senchyne      28579     Mary McCullough

ENGLISH 1105.104

Writing and Sexual Politics: Queer Pleasures/Queer Pains

Why do we tend to favor texts about queer suffering over those that emphasize delight? And why, for example, do we celebrate films about the death or oppression of these individuals, like Academy Award winners Philadelphia and Milk, even as we ignore those that imagine new forms of love and desire, such as the critically neglected Shortbus? In considering such questions, this course will pair works that take up problems of distress or misery with those that seem to embrace enjoyment and release, including works by Oscar Wilde, Gertrude Stein, and Alison Bechdel, and movies by filmmakers such as Derek Jarman and John Cameron Mitchell. We will write essays about both these larger issues and more local questions of pleasure and pain in individual texts.

TR 11:40–12:55 p.m.     Jacob Brogan      28583     Mary McCullough

ENGLISH 1105.105

Writing and Sexual Politics: Prostitutes, Punishments, and Pleasures in Early American Literature

Sex and violence: most people secretly, or not so secretly, love and fear both. This course investigates sex and violence in early American literature, from the Puritans to the 1918 text Autobiography of an Androgyne. We will define “sex” and “violence” loosely, and our readings will challenge and enrich your own definitions. We will investigate topics such as gender, desire, friendship, and the nation. We will read authors like Whitman and Hawthorne, as well as lesser known texts. You will also read materials in Cornell’s Gender and Sexuality archive. Our writing assignments will address both contemporary and early American experiences, and you will write a series of shorter papers ending in a final research project.

TR 01:25–02:40 p.m.     Brant Torres      28584     Mary McCullough

ENGLISH 1105.106

Writing and Sexual Politics: Libertine London—Sex, Scandal, and the City

From the creation of the closet to the invention of the coffee house, urbanization has shaped our cultural presumptions about sex and sexuality. The modern city formed itself around a carving up of spaces, one that highlighted the divisions between public and private places. Using London as its main paradigm, this course will examine the effects that such city spaces, houses, and layouts had on modern concepts of sexuality. Subtopics include: the country versus the city, the figures of the libertine, the prostitute, and the homosexual, cities and the marriage market, secrecy and satire, politics and pornography. A series of critical writing assignments will explore a variety of literary genres along with museum visits and film screenings. Authors may include Rochester, Swift, and Pope.

TR 02:55–04:10 p.m.     Sarah Eron      28585     Mary McCullough

ENGLISH 1111.101

Writing across Cultures: Literature of Witness—Writing about Extreme Experience

When one survives a cataclysmic event--such as a hurricane or an era of political oppression--there is something inside us that bids us to write. We feel the need to offer our testimony of atrocity, hardship, and disaster. In this course we will examine the relationship of literature to traumatic experience, testing the boundaries of memoir, warning, and elegy. We will read works by poets and writers, such as Paul Celan, Loung Ung, Katie Ford, and Junot Diaz, who have lived through genocide, natural disaster, and political tragedy, and come to terms with the imperative for writers to act as witness. Using such texts as catalyst, we will explore ways in which we too may bear witness by writing critical and personal essays.

MW 02:55–04:10 p.m.     Christopher Lirette      28592     Margo Crawford

ENGLISH 1111.102

Writing across Cultures: The Special (Un)Dead—Saints and Vampires

In this course, through examination of texts that center separately on vampires and saints, we will discuss and investigate saints and vampires as both cultural constructions and constructors of cultures. The emphasis will always be on reading one through the other, through such texts as The Golden Legend, Twilight, and True Blood. Various writing exercises will continue this focus on otherworldly creatures who maintain their existence in part through a special relationship to blood. The choice of vampires and saints will also give us a chance to trouble the distinction between medieval and modern, as we navigate the boundaries between the supernatural and natural. In discussion and writing, we’ll ask how vampires and saints say something similar about the cultures they represent and create.

TR 08:40–09:55 a.m.     William Rogers      28593     Margo Crawford

ENGLISH 1111.103

Writing across Cultures: “A Life Exposed”—Public and Private America

Today, the public assails the private from all sides. Forms of communication, confession, surveillance, social networking, blogs, tabloids, Twitter, encourage a relentless “publication” of our private lives, blurring boundaries between public and private, radically altering our self-understandings. Yet the tension between the public and private is not a new topic in American life. This course will go back to the beginnings of American cultural history to investigate how that tension has shaped conceptions of religious belief, domestic life and public culture, intimacy, the body, political resistance, cultivating and revealing a “self.” Possible readings include selections from the poetry of Bradstreet, Dickinson, or Whitman, Emerson’s Self-Reliance, fiction from Poe’s Man of the Crowd to Delillo’s Mao II, films, reality TV, new media, and excerpts from the work of public intellectuals.

TR 10:10–11:25 a.m.     Michael Jonik      28599

ENGLISH 1111.104

Writing across Cultures: ”The Things I Have Seen”—Literature and Human Rights

Is it possible to share the suffering of others? In this course, we will look at literature as an ethical project, one that raises enduring questions about humanity, the relation of the self to the other, and the possibility of human understanding across cultural, racial, and national boundaries. We will consider how reading and interpretation help us develop empathy and understanding of situations that may be separated from us in time and experience such as slavery, the Holocaust, homophobia, and the phenomenon of child soldiers. Readings may include Satrapi’s Persepolis, Primo Levi’s Survival in Auschwitz, and Harriet Jacobs’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. The diversity of our texts will allow for a cross-cultural inquiry. Assignments will include free-writes and six critical essays.

TR 11:40–12:55 p.m.     Elizabeth Tshele      28600     Margo Crawford

ENGLISH 1111.105

Writing across Cultures: Vulnerable Masculinities—Stories of Instability and Change

In discussing masculinity in contemporary literature, the word “vulnerability” often arises. In this course, we will examine how and why this concept has captured our attention and will ask, above all, what does vulnerability do, and can masculinities be (socially, ethnically, and culturally) different? We will explore these questions through James Baldwin’s If Beale Street Could Talk, Leslie Marmon Silko’s Ceremony, and Cherrie Moraga’s Shadow of a Man, among other texts, interpreting these works in light of feminist, queer and cultural critiques of male authority and power. In the end we will ask: does vulnerability transform power relations between genders and sexualities or does it simply “re-inscribe” male power? Through our writing, we will emphasize peer-review, self-revision, writing in stages, and voice and argument development.

TR 11:40–12:55 p.m.     Orlando Lara      28601     Margo Crawford

ENGLISH 1111.106

Writing across Cultures: Natives and Strangers

Belonging and not belonging. Inclusion and exclusion. Familiarity and estrangement. How does the US order its social relations? How does a society construct and enforce social, political, psychological, and economic boundaries? How do these boundaries operate in daily life? How does our society determine who is a “native” and who is a “stranger”? What are some of the ways through which people are included and excluded (for example, by way of race, gender, class, sexual or religious orientation, or able-bodiedness)? How are people’s lives affected by such determinations? We’ll be reading a number of twentieth-century American authors who grapple with these issues in their writing (including, possibly, Toni Morrison, James Baldwin, Saul Bellow, Lois-Ann Yamanaka, and Gwendolyn Brooks).

TR 11:40–12:55 p.m.     Shelley Wong      28602

ENGLISH 1111.107

Writing across Cultures: The Culture of the Raj

Judging from the recent spate of popular novels and movies dealing with the British rule in India, the “Raj” was a time of pageantry and color, adventure and romance. But to what extent is this image historically accurate? How did people live their lives, and how did the colonial rule affect not only Indian society and culture but also contemporary Britain? The Raj did invent many of the modern forms of spectacle and public ceremonial display, but is there anything else that survives to the present day? What do we know about “race” and nationalism, for instance, or literature and imperial ideology, and the various “cultural” ways we understand ourselves—then as much as now? Readings will draw on both literary and historical texts, and include some current films and popular fiction.

TR 01:25–02:40 p.m.     Satya Mohanty      28603

ENGLISH 1111.108

Writing across Cultures: Englishmen Abroad

In this course, we will read works of fiction featuring Englishmen (and sometimes Irishmen) engaged in overseas travel. Travel and geographical discovery have haunted the European imagination at least since the Renaissance, and travel narratives have had a significant impact on British history and literature. We shall explore classics like Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe as well as 20th-century novels like A Passage to India and The English Patient. Occasionally, we will also look at essays, short stories, and poems. Through the writing assignments, we will try to answer some of the numerous questions these texts trigger: How does one cope with the fact of being a stranger in a foreign land? How do phenomena like colonialism and war affect travel? Why do people travel at all?

TR 10:10–11:25 a.m.     Nandini Ramesh Sankar      28604     Margo Crawford

ENGLISH 1111.109

Writing across Cultures: Bodies, Households, and Nations—Six Plays

How do play scripts use “the body” to compel audiences and readers to confront unspeakable desires, and where do we perform these secret longings? Using techniques and strategies associated with both “literary” and “theatrical” perspectives, we will confront these questions in a variety of dramatic works, ranging from Shakespeare’s Othello and Beckett’s Happy Days to Zora Neale Hurston’s early one-act, Color Struck, and Djuna Barnes’s surrealist play, The Dove. Becoming more adventurous and robust readers is one of the goals of this course, as well as learning how our responses to representations of “dangerous desire” can provide us with models for igniting our own prose.

TR 08:40–09:55 a.m.     Catherine Burroughs      28605


Shakespeare from Stage to Screen

For four hundred years, Shakespeare has been responsible for more smash hits than any other other dramatist or screenwriter. He is the most quoted poet in the English language, and his dramatic works are the most frequently enacted and filmed. What accounts for this enduring popularity? What about the plays has made them at once so permanent and so adaptable? This class will give students the opportunity to work very closely with just a few of Shakespeare’s plays: a total of four or five over the course of the semester. We will look to the playtexts themselves as inspiration for the extensive writing we will do over the course of the semester. But we will also consult film clips and performances to focus on these plays as works produced by and for a public theater.


Memoir and Memory

In this course, we will examine how authors construct their public, written selves. Since the self is, at best, a difficult and multi-faceted concept, we will consider a variety of texts in our endeavor to understand an author’s choices of literary techniques in his or her narration of the remembered, created self.  We will read book-length memoirs such as Jamaica Kincaid’s My Brother, Tobias Wolff’s This Boy’s Life and Sandra Cisneros’s The House on Mango Street, and we will explore other texts such as reflective essays, poems, or visual renderings (e.g. Spiegelman’s Maus). Together we will investigate writers’ methods of self-exploration and presentation, and through reading and the frequent writing of essays we will explore how and why people write about themselves, always asking, “How does writing shape lived experience?”

ENGLISH 1140.101

Common Ground: Education Beyond the Ivory Tower

Earn course credit while learning about and working within the Ithaca community. This course on educational practices in the US combines academics with outreach and offers a unique opportunity for students who desire to be active in tutoring or mentoring in our community to enhance that practice through critical engagement with texts relevant to their experience. Participate in discussions about readings focused on ideologies and practices that have created the current state of education in the US (e.g., Jefferson, Baldwin, Barber, Trask, Leguin, Kozol, Reich). Write essays that explore class, gender, and ethnic diversity and how those components become implicated in how our schools carry out the mission of providing free and public education locally and nationally.

TR 01:25–02:40 p.m.      x-listed w/ Writ 1400 and AMST 1140     28569

The Public Service Center is available to arrange a mentoring partnership with interested students not already active in such a program. Contact Amy Somchanhmavong ayk3@cornell.edu


The Mystery in the Story

What makes a story, and what makes it a mystery story? In this course, we’ll study and write about the nature of narratives, taking the classic mystery tale written by such writers as Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, and Raymond Chandler as typical of intricately plotted stories of suspense and disclosure that have been written and filmed in many genres: Greek tragedy, horror tales by Poe and Shirley Jackson, psychological thrillers by Ruth Rendell and Patricia Highsmith, neo-noir films such as Memento and Fight Club, and postmodern mystery parodies such as those of Paul Auster and Jorge Luis Borges. We’ll look at the way they hold together, the desire and fear that drive them, and the secrets they tell—or try to keep hidden.

ENGLISH 1158.101

American Voices: Imagining Cities—The Big Apple, The City of Angels, and Other Dystopias

In much fiction, cities take on a life of their own, becoming the leading character—especially the (in)famous cities of Los Angeles and New York. This class will analyze the uses of urban geography to construct and question identity. How do race, socio-economic status, gender, and citizenship factor into imagined cities? How does geography limit or challenge these interactions? And why have many representations devolved from idyllic dreams to bleak dystopias? Readings might include Allen Ginsberg’s Howl, Nathanael West’s Miss Lonelyhearts and Day of the Locust, Karen Tei Yamashita’s Tropic of Orange, and geographers David Harvey and Doreen Massey. Essays will give students the opportunity to develop their own arguments and to try their hand at the stylistic and rhetorical conventions modeled by the readings.

MW 08:40–09:55 a.m.     Noor Hashem      28624     Jeremy Braddock

ENGLISH 1158.102

American Voices: The Politics of Style

How can a literary text be political? Might it become political not just in its subject matter, but also in the way it’s written? How can texts which don’t always speak explicitly of the events of their time be political in some other, maybe even more radical, way? By reading, writing about, and in some cases, imitating texts with complicated relationships to their context, we will consider how literary style might already be a political act. Texts may include Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man and selections from Shadow and Act, Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience and Hawthorne’s short stories. Writing assignments will include reading journals, style imitation exercises, and formal analytic essays.

MWF 11:15–12:05 p.m.     Ingrid Diran      28625     Jeremy Braddock

ENGLISH 1158.103

American Voices: Nineteen Eighty Five

This course will focus on thinking and writing about the literature of 1985. We’ll read three novels published that year (Don DeLillo’s White Noise, Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian, and Haruki Murakami’s Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World) and place these in the context of the contemporary social and cultural milieu, especially film, television, and the emergence of home-video-game technology.  We’ll focus on close literary analysis of the novels, but there will also be substantial secondary theoretical readings on postmodernism and globalization. While spotlighting such a specific historical moment should ideally give us some sense of its zeitgeist, in general we’ll read these very diverse texts on their own terms.

TR 10:10–11:25 a.m.     Nicholas Roth      28626     Jeremy Braddock

ENGLISH 1158.104

American Voices: American Dreams, American Nightmares—The Quest for Identity

This course explores the American novel of the journey, from the 1950’s to the present. We will trace the particularly American quest for identity—be it comic, romantic, tragic, or nightmarish—and we will attempt to answer the following question: What is it to be American? How can we define “Americanness,” and how has it been defined for us, historically? We’ll look at ways American authors as divergent as Saul Bellow, Willa Cather, Junot Díaz, Zora Neale Hurston, Cormac McCarthy, and J. D. Salinger have attempted to subvert and redefine notions of the American. Written assignments will include six formal essays, regular in-class writing exercises, and the opportunity to produce a short creative piece.

MW 02:55–04:10 p.m.     Jennifer Adams      28627     Jeremy Braddock

ENGLISH 1158.105

American Voices: Worlds of Fiction—Thinking, Reading, Creating

We will examine modern fiction with an emphasis on the short story and novella. Students will write critical essays on work by authors from around the world who flourished between 1870 to present day. We will also try our hand at creating our own fiction in our last class session.

MW 02:55–04:10 p.m.     Helena Viramontes     28628

ENGLISH 1158.106

American Voices: Home Strange Home—Writing about Place

Contemporary writer Rebecca Solnit claims that “to know a place, like a friend or lover, is for it to become familiar…. [T]o know it better is for it to become strange again.” What does it mean to know a place? What’s the relationship between place, identity, and community? What might strangers notice that natives don’t (and vice versa)? We’ll explore how writers navigate both the American landscape and their relationships to it, transforming place from mere “setting” into something more. Possible texts include novels by Cormac McCarthy and Jonathan Safran Foer; short stories by Proulx, Faulkner, O’Connor, and Hemingway; essays by

Solnit, Thoreau, and Baldwin. Writing assignments include journaling, literary analysis, and an essay project on writing our way into familiarity (and strangeness?) with Ithaca.

TR 10:10–11:25 a.m.     Sarah Ensor      28629     Jeremy Braddock

ENGLISH 1158.107/108

American Voices: Time Travels in American Literature

American “time travel” might conjure images of Marty McFly and Back to the Future, but the persistently popular concept of time travel has a long and varied history within American literature and culture. From Rip Van Winkle to contemporary novels that play with time to recover forgotten histories, characters throughout American literature travel through time, as time travels within American literature. In this course we will read “classic” time travel stories like Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, but we will also read texts that complicate time in less familiar ways. Writing assignments will include short responses and multi-draft essays on texts by Irving, Bellamy, Twain, Silko and others as we ask what anxieties time travel narratives express at different historical moments.

ENGLISH 1158.109

American Voices: Diverse Voices of American Identity

Who is “American?” How is American identity conceptualized and acted out in diverse cultural communities within the land defined as the United States of America? In what ways do contemporary novels about these communities reflect these communities and define them for an audience beyond community borders? In this seminar, we’ll read a series of contemporary novels by authors like Toni Morrison, Junot Diaz, Leslie Silko, Kiana Davenport, and Cormac McCarthy that exemplify the multifaceted role of story in communicating cultural identity. Through journal writing, autobiographical essays, and critical analytical essays, students will explore diverse conceptions of American identity as they are communicated in contemporary novels and consider how those conceptions can both solidify and productively unsettle notions of “being American.”

TR 01:25–02:40 p.m.     Virginia Kennedy      28632     Jeremy Braddock

ENGLISH 1158.111/112

American Voices: The Obama Moment

This course will engage some of the most compelling and provocative political analysis, cultural criticism, and art of “the Obama moment.” We will analyze the President’s self-representation by reading his first memoir and select speeches. However, we will focus on journalistic and artistic representations of Obama and his significance. Specifically, we will ask how his ascendancy has highlighted issues that have long been central to US society: race relations, race loyalty, the limits of white liberalism, the relationship between white and black feminisms, the notion of the US as a “post-racial” nation. Through frequent writing exercises and essays, we will hone our own skills as cultural critics. Supporters of McCain, Clinton, et al. are more than welcome.


Great New Books

Great literature in English goes back several centuries, but some of it is being written right now. What are the great new books of the twenty-first century, and how do we know? What role do reviews, prizes, book clubs and movie adaptations play in establishing the appeal and prestige of new literature? These are some of the questions we’ll explore as we read, discuss, and write critical essays about several of the most acclaimed books published in the last ten years. Our readings will include works in a range of genres, from novels and memoirs to poetry and children’s literature.

ENGLISH 1168.101

Cultural Studies: The Figure of the Badass in Literature and Film

The Road Warrior. Rambo. Ellen Ripley. Coriolanus. All walk alone. All stand up for what’s right. All are Badasses. But what exactly makes a “Badass,” and what does it mean to be one? This course will examine our conception of the Badass through many mediums: we will engage with literary texts, critical essays, and films. Through these works, we will seek to better understand what exactly the Badass is, and how he or she intersects with issues of gender, race, technology, sexuality, and cinematic representation. Writing and revising will form an integral part of this course, allowing you to develop and work through your own analyses. Texts may include Shakespeare’s Coriolanus, Old English poetry, Kierkegaard’s Fear and Trembling, The 6th Day, Mad Max, and Aliens.

MW 08:40–09:55 a.m.     John Robbins      28641     Jane Juffer

ENGLISH 1168.102

Cultural Studies: Happily Ever Aftermath

In the beginning was the end: at least for these versions of the world. Hollywood endings are notorious for their wish-fulfilling escapism, a lucrative venture in itself. How, then, to understand stories beginning from a love of aftermath? What we might write off as scare tactic, melodramatic gimmick, or gross exaggeration might, on examination, involve passionate renunciation of the status quo. Whether analyzing films as varied as Resnais’s Hiroshima mon amour and Cameron’s Terminator, reading fiction like H. G. Wells’s The World Set Free, artistic manifestos, or rap lyrics—our writing for this class will investigate how apocalypse launches imagination. Through words and images, we consider how “worlds at an end” have galvanized audiences to horror or to hope: that is, how not to hold on.

MWF 09:05–09:55 a.m.     Avery Slater      28642     Jane Juffer

ENGLISH 1168.103

Cultural Studies: Martial Arts Discipline and Punish

Bruce Lee and other martial arts actors portray characters who are extremely disciplined, but how do their films discipline us as an audience and create in us a social, cultural and political subject that is just as finely-tuned? This seminar uses the action cinema of Hong Kong as an occasion to think and write about philosophical and ethical questions, with an emphasis on French theorist Michel Foucault’s Discipline and Punish. Films will include 36th Chamber of Shaolin and Fist of Legend, among others; we will also consider the Street Fighter game series and a selection of literary texts, such as Beowulf and Shakespeare’s Coriolanus, in order to extend our conversation across media and cultures. Student writing will involve close reading, critical debate and theoretical critique.

MWF 11:15–12:05 p.m.     Matthew Bucemi      28643     Jane Juffer

ENGLISH 1168.104

Cultural Studies: Writing on Art, Art from Writing

This course addresses many and varied relations of word and image: How do written texts respond to visual art? How does art respond to texts? How can we as writers render in words that which is without language but calls for interpretation? How do artists render in painting or sculpture the substance of a text? How is an episode from Ovid or the Bible represented in multiple works of art, and how may visual renderings of a familiar tale both retell it and interpret it? How does a static work of art render time and memory? Writers considered may include Ruskin, Pater, Hazlitt, Shelley, Keats, Hogarth, Diderot, Baudelaire, Auden, John Ashbery. Works of art from such as: Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Rubens, Turner, Rauschenberg, Twombly, the Laocoön group, and the the Elgin Marbles.

MWF 01:25–02:15 p.m.     Tatiana Senkevitch      28644

ENGLISH 1168.105

Cultural Studies: Architexts—Castles, Prisons, Offices

From Gothic castles to modern office cubicles, architectural settings can have as much significance as literature’s characters and plots. This course attempts to map the symbolic and poetic spaces of buildings as they shape, and are shaped by, the values and forms within texts. We will investigate ways of reading architecture—and how architecture, in turn, helps determine or deconstruct social bodies. How are castles haunted by the specters of history? How do prisons “incarcerate” certain reading practices? How do offices assume (or subvert) a view of humans as machines? We will write about such questions while reading authors that may include Borges, Melville, e. e. cummings, or Tom Wolfe, and looking at architecture such as Bentham’s Panopticon, Tschumi’s Follies, and episodes of The Office.

MW 07:30–08:45 p.m.     William Cordeiro     28645     Jane Juffer

ENGLISH 1168.106

Cultural Studies: Gone to the Dogs—The Canine in Literature and Culture

This interdisciplinary FWS will introduce students to behavioral, ethological, philosophical, historical, and literary perspectives on dogs. It will also emphasize how thinking about the dog-human relationship has changed profoundly over the past several decades. Mark Derr’s A Dog’s History of America, Virginia Woolf’s Flush, Donna Haraway’s The Companion Species Manifesto, Jack London’s The Call of the Wild, and Raymond and Lorna Coppinger’s Dogs: A New Understanding of Canine Origin, Behavior, and Evolution are some of the possible course readings. Writing assignments will include short essays, a revised longer essay and in-class critical thinking exercises. The mode of the class will be discussion. Students will have the opportunity to take several voluntary, off-campus field trips during the semester.

TR 01:25–02:40 p.m.     Laura Donaldson      28646     Dag Woubshet

ENGLISH 1168.107

Cultural Studies: Everybody Lies—Lying and Literature in House and Holmes

What is the difference between a truth and a lie? Between truth and fiction? In this seminar, we will rethink the function and value of lies, of fiction, through the TV series House, M.D. We will view the show as a secondary fiction, adapting Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s original novels and short stories about Sherlock Holmes. We will consider the role of lies in the construction of concepts such as “God,” “niceness,” “blackness,” “bisexuality,” “success” (economic or otherwise), and identity. And we will critique the show’s philosophical, socio-political, scientific, and aesthetic construction of itself in similar terms. After all, as Gregory House says, “everybody lies.” Discussions and writing assignments will focus on House and Doyle, in addition to texts by Nietzsche, Freud, and Arendt.

TR 01:25–02:40 p.m.     Sang Yin Wu      28647     Jane Juffer

ENGLISH 1168.108

Cultural Studies: Acoustic Modernity—Literature, Music, and the Meaning of Sound

What would anarchy or total social control sound like? Literary works like T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land or Anthony Burgess’s Clockwork Orange have long envisioned what human society will become (or already is). They often look to music, in particular, to help create this vision. In this course we will examine works in which society’s fate is rethought through music, looking closely at literature’s musical themes and forms. At the same time we will listen carefully to a range of our own music, from Dylan to Public Enemy, punk to indie, exploring its visions of our present society by paying close attention to its literary and musical form. Students will write short responses, track reviews, critical analyses, and a final research paper.

TR 11:40–12:55 p.m.     Benjamin Glaser      28648     Jane Juffer


Short Stories

What do Minority Report, Brokeback Mountain, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button have in common? Each began life as a short story. Uncanny yet homely, short stories bestride both the commonplace anecdotes we relate daily and the high literary tradition that values visionary moments. Short fiction can pack poetry’s punch and still ride the novel’s propulsive drive of plot.  Stories make us human; they urge us to write. Although we will primarily write analytical essays about the craft (and the reading) of narrative, we will nevertheless find our creative and research abilities challenged. Texts may include works by authors such as Poe, Melville, de Maupassant, Gilman, Chopin, Hemingway, Faulkner, Steinbeck, O’Connor, O’Brien, Carver, Lawrence, Atwood, Munro, Chekhov, Joyce, Kafka, Kipling, Danticat, Lahiri.

ENGLISH 1191.101

British Literature: The Private Life—The Ordering of Inner Thoughts in Devotional Literature

Socrates’ prayer from the Phaedrus—“May the outward and inward man be at one”—is striking to the contemporary reader. Modern society so clearly rewards external performance and image management over the cultivation of a rich and mature inward person. The constant exposure of the hypocrisy and scandal of well- known figures reminds us, however, of the dangers of a public life that far outpaces a neglected private life. In this course, we will examine the life of devotion that produces the quiet ordering of the inner person and study the literature of the English devotional tradition. Authors may include John Donne, George Herbert, Francis de Sales, and John Bunyan. Through in-class writing and formal essays, we will develop skills in close reading and critical thinking.

MWF 10:10–11:00 a.m.     Jane Kim      28653     Wendy Jones

ENGLISH 1191.102

British Literature:Monks, Monsters, and Madwomen—Gothic Romantic Literature

Why do stories of murder, incest, diabolism, and seduction continue to fascinate? What drew nineteenth- century audiences to tales of wickedness and woe? In this course, we’ll study and write about popular romantic-era tales of horror, from nursery stories and sensational plays to classic send-ups of the genre such as Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey and John Keats’s The Eve of St Agnes. We’ll analyze their ornamental and elevated style and their often artificial conventions, such as desolate settings, tortured spirits, and fainting heroines. Taking these texts as indicative of the spirit of the age, we’ll identify the anxieties they express and assuage, with particular interest in the sense of power gone mad that is often at the heart of gothic literature.

MWF 10:10–11:00 a.m.     Mariam Wassif     28654     Wendy Jones

ENGLISH 1191.103

British Literature: Animals, Monsters, and Aliens

What is a human being? In response to this surprisingly difficult question, British authors have compared humans with many other creatures, including imaginary ones. Each unit of this course pairs a classic work with a science-fiction novel about a particularly disturbing non-human figure: the talking animal, the human-animal hybrid, and the rational non-human. We will not only analyze rhetorical strategies for constructing and challenging definitions of the human but also consider how science fiction can offer new perspectives on classic literature. In addition to analytical essays, students will write a creative piece in which

they adopt a non-human perspective. Featured books include Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, H. G. Wells’s Island of Dr. Moreau, and C. S. Lewis’s Out of the Silent Planet.

TR 11:40–12:55 p.m.     Bryan Alkemeyer      28655     Wendy Jones

ENGLISH 1191.104/106

British Literature: Medieval Popular Culture, Then and Now

“What do Vikings and credit cards have in common, anyway?” If you’ve watched TV recently you may have asked yourself that question – this course will help you find the answer. In “Medieval Popular Culture, Then & Now” we will examine how we define “popular culture” and why medievalism so often features in its most famous texts. We will read medieval examples of popular entertainment, and ask if they perform similar cultural work to our media of today. Texts will include Beowulf (the poem and 2007 film), saints’ lives, Arthuriana, a passion play, Star Wars, a Batman graphic novel, and advertisements. Students will produce six pieces of writing during the semester, including close readings and the opportunity to create (and then analyze) their own medieval romance.

ENGLISH 1191.105

British Literature: Jane Austen

We will read and write about all of the major novels of Jane Austen as well as some of her lesser known works. Our exploration of Austen’s fiction will go beyond her Masterpiece Theatre façade to discover a novelist deeply engaged with philosophy, history, and politics.

TR 02:55–04:10 p.m.     Wendy Jones      28657

ENGLISH 1270.101

Writing about Literature: The Reading of Fiction

We will examine modern fiction from 1870 with an emphasis on the short story and novella. Our writers will include:  Conrad, Dostoevsky, Joyce, Kafka, Woolf, Lawrence, Mann, Chekhov, Hemingway, Faulkner, and Welty. We will not only study form and narrative strategies but we will also put these works in the context of intellectual and historical developments, including parallel developments in modern art. Student writing assignments will be mostly critical essays, but there will be one creative assignment. Our goals will be to develop close, attentive, imaginative reading and writing-and to enjoy our reading and writing!!

MW 08:40–09:55 a.m.     Daniel Schwarz      28663

Students who have already taken a First-Year Writing Seminar, or who scored 4 or 5 on the Princeton AP exam, or 700 or better on the English Composition or CEEB tests, may enroll, space permitting, in this upper-level First-Year Writing Seminar: Engl 1270.

ENGLISH 1270.102

Writing about Literature: Modern Fiction

This course examines modern fiction, with an emphasis on short stories—and a few longer ones— published in the past one hundred years. Authors may include Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Franz Kafka, Ernest Hemingway, Vladimir Nabokov, Flannery O’Connor, Toni Cade Bambara, Gabriel Garcia Márquez, Grace Paley, and Beth Nugent. The last unit of the semester will explore different critical approaches to Joseph Conrad’s novella The Secret Sharer. The seminar combines detailed, imaginative analysis of fiction with intensive writing and revisions of critical essays.

MW 08:40–09:55 a.m.     Fredric Bogel      28664

Students who have already taken a First-Year Writing Seminar, or who scored 4 or 5 on the Princeton AP exam, or 700 or better on the English Composition or CEEB tests, may enroll, space permitting, in this upper-level First-Year Writing Seminar: Engl 1270.

ENGLISH 1270.103

Writing about Literature: The Great Pleasures of Short Fiction

In this course, we will closely read a variety of nineteenth- and twentieth-century short fiction, from Poe’s unforgettable tales of horror to Nabokov’s dazzling metafictional puzzles, from Melville’s mysterious antebellum Manhattan to Woolf’s and Joyce’s high modernist gems. Over the semester we will observe the wide variety of styles and shapes that short fiction can assume, and we will focus our critical lenses on what literary effects are achieved by our authors’ formal and narrative techniques.

MWF 10:10–11:00 a.m.     Kevin Attell      28665

Students who have already taken a First-Year Writing Seminar, or who scored 4 or 5 on the Princeton AP exam, or 700 or better on the English Composition or CEEB tests, may enroll, space permitting, in the following upper-level First-Year Writing Seminar: Engl 1270.

ENGLISH 1270.104

Writing about Literature: Tragedy

In this course, we will study and write critically about plays, older and newer, in a variety of dramatic idioms and cultural traditions. We will practice close, interpretive reading of texts and pay attention to their possibilities for live and filmed performance. Readings will include works by such playwrights as Sophocles and Shakespeare, Arthur Miller and Caryl Churchill, Ntosake Shange and Tony Kushner, and some drama criticism and performance theory. Attendance at screenings and at live productions by the Theatre Department may be required.

MWF 11:15–12:05 p.m.     Philip Lorenz      28666

Students who have already taken a First-Year Writing Seminar, or who scored 4 or 5 on the Princeton AP exam, or 700 or better on the English Composition or CEEB tests, may enroll, space permitting, in this upper-level First-Year Writing Seminar: Engl 1270.

ENGLISH 1270.105

Writing about Literature: Telling Stories—The Power of Narrative

This course explores how stories move readers. It aims to help you respond to the short fiction we will read with an ever-growing intensity of perceptiveness and pleasure. Along the way, it will also introduce you to a relatively new branch of narrative study. Medical schools have begun to offer courses in what has become known as “narrative medicine” (and its relative “narrative ethics”). I’m no physician, and the primary focus of the course will rest on the stories we read. By the end of the semester, though, you should have gained a notion of why medical training increasingly includes an exploration of the power of narrative and why some would claim that narratives can heal.

MWF 02:30–03:20 p.m.     Harry Shaw      28667

Students who have already taken a First-Year Writing Seminar, or who scored 4 or 5 on the Princeton AP exam, or 700 or better on the English Composition or CEEB tests, may enroll, space permitting, in this upper-level First-Year Writing Seminar: Engl 1270.

FRENCH 1102.101

Queer Rhetorics

What is rhetoric, and what could make it queer? Is it possible for rhetoric not to be queer? This course explores the logos, the pathos, and the ethos of “queer” writing, with the objective of analyzing the relationships between form and content writing. Texts might include: stories from Does Your Mama Know?: An Anthology of Black Lesbian Coming Out Stories, Sharon Bridgforth’s The Bull-Jean Stories, performance stories set in the 1920s South; and/or Valencia, whose author has been described as “a punk rock Judy Blume.” We will also read essays in queer theory, broach problems of racism, classism, and ableism in LGBT movements, and watch a few films. Writing assignments will be as varied in style as the reading assignments.

MWF 11:15–12:05 p.m.     Shanna Carlson      28464     Kathleen Long

FRENCH 1106.101

(Il) Legitimate Loves: Marriage in Seventeenth-Century French and Spanish Theatre

Through a reading of various plays by Racine, Corneille, and Molière as well as Lope de Vega, Calderon, and de Castro, students will examine the ideas of love and marriage and the possible subversions and perversions of these themes. We will use these texts as a source and motivation for our reading, writing, and critical analysis, while not losing sight of these plays as performances. Film screenings, performances, modern adaptations of these works, and historical material related to the plays in production will be included. Student work will involve extensive writing, both formal and informal, as well as a short theatrical performance or staged reading.

MWF 09:05–09:55 a.m.     Luisa Rosas      28465     Kathleen Long

FRENCH 1108.101

Monstrous Forms: Wild Men and Wicked Women

Monstrosity is a means of marking off and isolating the “unacceptable” other, that which threatens us, often for reasons that we cannot explain. Throughout time, women, people of other races and nations, various species of animals, have all been designated as monstrous. This course will explore the gendering of monstrosity: why is it that monstrous men are described as “wild,” as if their monstrosity is natural, while monstrous women are most frequently described as “wicked,” as if their monstrosity is a moral failing? We will focus on texts about “wild men” and witches: Yvain by Chrétien de Troyes, Beowulf, Grendel by John Gardner, Ambroise Paré’s On Monsters and Marvels, and selected episodes of The X-Files.

MWF 10:10–11:00 a.m.     Kathleen Long      28466


Language of Alchemy: The Romantic Tale

Alchemy: can lead be changed into gold? Is there an elixir that can cure disease and prolong life? As the French revolution and its aftermath split Europe, another—and no less drastic—revolution took place in the realm of science: the discovery of oxygen gave rise to modern chemistry. The ground for this break was, however, long prepared by alchemy, the esoteric knowledge of binding and separating the elements. Alchemists led the way for philosophers and writers in the Romantic era in a quest for the legendary “philosophers’ stone” and in seeking what they called the “chemical marriage.” Reading representations of alchemy by Goethe, Novalis, Hoffmann and more recent texts such as Hofmannsthal’s Andreas, we will analyze and write about the tensions between the mystical and the scientific.

TR 10:10–11:25 a.m.     Anna Glazova      28467     Brent McBride


From Fairy Tales to the Uncanny: Exploring the Romantic Consciousness

As didactic texts that present explicit—and implicit—moral lessons, fairy tales shape cultural identity by questioning as well as affirming dominant cultural values. This seminar uses selections from the Brothers Grimm to analyze characteristic features of the genre and examine its evolution to the present day. Our investigation will focus on how the transformation of oral folk tales into literary texts in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries sparked an interest in androids, the paranormal, and the pathological and spurred German Romantics to experiment with new forms of fiction that established the matrix for popular genres like horror, mystery, fantasy, and sci-fi. The emphasis of the course is on improving writing skills.


Marx, Nietzsche, Freud

A grasp of Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud is essential to understanding critical discourse in the humanities and social sciences. This seminar introduces (1) the three revolutionaries who shaped modern and postmodern thought and practice; and (2) the key terms of the analytic models they pioneered: political economy, post- metaphysical philosophy, and psychoanalysis (including differences and points of intersection). Discussions and assignments will focus on short texts and excerpts from longer texts that are essential to understanding their work and lay a foundation for critically analyzing global society, politics, and culture. The core problem: Do alternative ways of thinking and acting exist in opposition to how we already think and act? The emphasis of the course is on improving writing skills.

TR 11:40–12:55 p.m.     Carl Gelderloos      28472     Douglas Brent McBride


Power and Politics: Markets and Morals

The market is seen as the default mechanism of economic organization. But is it morally defensible? In this course, we examine defenses of the market—defenses emphasizing efficiency, rights, and deservedness—as well as critiques. What justifies private property? What is owed to those with less to offer the market, such as the disabled? Are there things that should not be bought or sold, such as bodily organs? Can a voluntary exchange still be exploitative? In addressing these questions we will read canonical thinkers—including Adam Smith and Marx—contemporary philosophers—such as Nozick and Sandel—and coverage of topics of relevance to public policy. Assignments will be designed to enable students to sharpen their analytical writing skills and develop and articulate their own views.

TR 11:40–12:55 p.m.     Simon Cotton      28473     Isaac Kramnick


Power and Politics: Causes of War and the War in Iraq

Why do states fight wars? Moreover, what can existing theories of war tell us about the causes of modern conflicts such as the most recent war in Iraq? In this course, we will begin by examining prominent theories of war. We will then study the events leading up to the war in Iraq, assessing which theories best explain why, when, how, and with whose cooperation the Iraq war was fought. Students will answer these fascinating questions in writing assignments that are designed to help them hone their analytical skills and learn to communicate their ideas clearly.

TR 10:10–11:25 a.m.     Jessica Weeks      28474


Power and Politics: Islam and Development in the Comparative Perspective

Students in this class will undertake an in-depth survey of economic development and political power in the Muslim world. The world contains well over one billion Muslims, and the majority of them live under authoritarian regimes, in conditions of economic hardship if not abject poverty. Yet this underdevelopment exists alongside glimpses of prosperity in Dubai and Kuala Lumpur, amidst astounding natural resource wealth, and despite widespread popular dissatisfaction with incumbent governments. In discussion, readings, and writing, we will study the political economy of the Muslim world in order to understand the varying development trajectories of Muslim-majority countries.

TR 02:55–04:10 p.m.     Tom Pepinsky      28475


Power and Politics: US Democracy Promotion

Over the past twenty years, the United States has made democracy promotion a major foreign policy priority. Does the United States always support democratic change abroad, or can concerns about energy supplies and national security dampen the enthusiasm for democratic change? How does democracy assistance actually work—on the ground and in Washington, DC? How distinctive is the US approach as compared to European efforts in this area? Has the United States actually contributed to democratic change in other countries, or have such interventions undermined democratic development? Finally, given our answers to these questions: can and should the United States be in the business of promoting democracy in the international system? Students will write short papers on issues highlighted in the readings and in our discussions.

TR 08:40–09:55 a.m.     Valerie Bunce      28476


Power and Politics: Authoritarianism in the Age of Globalization

Do authoritarian leaders care about globalization? Does it make their lives more or less difficult? How do authoritarian regimes navigate today’s highly globalized world economy? These are some of the questions we will try to answer in this course. Approaching these topics will require a discussion of complicated concepts, such as capitalism, democracy, authoritarianism, property rights, globalization, and many others. In addition to Frieden’s Global Capitalism, the readings for the course will come from political science and economics journals. We will aim to clarify our ideas about these issues by writing them down and then, re-writing them many times over. For this purpose, the course will be organized around writing assignments that will ask students to reflect on readings and class discussions.

TR 08:40–09:55 a.m.     Igor Logvinenko      28477     Valerie Bunce


Psychology and Literature: Voices of Vermin, Vagabonds, and Vampires

What are the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves and about others? What is our responsibility to ourselves and to others and how does this responsibility impact identity? We will examine the interplay between developmental psychology and literature, to see how life imitates art and vice versa. For instance, students will apply broad developmental theories to literary characters, as if these characters were case studies, and students will also apply these theories to their own lives. By reading texts such as Kafka’s The Metamorphosis and Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye, students will begin to think about their identity and start to write their narrative. Reading and writing will be used not just as an academic exercise but as a transformational process in self- discovery.

TR 10:10–11:25 a.m.     Charlotte Sweeney      28478     Steve Ceci

HISTORY 1102.101

Roma (Gypsies) in Europe and the United States

The Roma, one of several groups of people lumped together by outsiders of the group under the name “Gypsy,” have a long history in Europe and were among the flood of immigrants to the United States at the turn of the century. This course will introduce students to the history of the Roma in Europe and the United States using literature and films made by Roma about Romani culture. Additionally, the course will identify the representation of “Gypsies” in film and literature and ask students to interrogate these representations through a variety of writing exercises.

TR 02:55–04:10 p.m.     Ann Wilde      28863

HISTORY 1114.101

The Cold War: Revolt and Revolution

This course introduces students to three major, closely related themes in the study of twentieth-century United States and world history: the Cold War, revolutionary movements in the postwar era, and nationalism. How did the Cold War and revolutionary movements shape the global political landscape as we know it today? How do we write about the role the politics of nationalism played in the outcome of the Cold War and revolutionary movements? Texts in this course include the writings of Ché Guevara, Fidel Castro, and Franz Fanon, and historians Eric Hobsbawn and John Gaddis. Essays of varying length will be assigned throughout the course.

MWF 11:15–12:05 p.m.     Jorge Rivera Marin      28501     Fredrik Logevall

HISTORY 1128.101

Women and Black Nationalism in the United States

Although often overlooked, Black women have played an important role in the development and practice of Black Nationalism in the United States. Through an examination of Black Nationalist women throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, this course will explore the history of such women, paying particular attention to the unique position they held and the challenges they faced as women. Additionally, students will be challenged to explore and write about the ways in which feminist and/or Womanist perspectives complimented and/or complicated Black women’s interpretations and expressions of Black Nationalism. Ultimately, this course offers a more gender-balanced lens into the study of Black Nationalism in the United States.

TR 01:25–02:40 p.m.     Candace Katungi      28502     Margaret Washington

HISTORY 1137.101

Theories of World History

How did the idea of world history arise? To what extent are our present views on history indebted to the theories of the past? What is the relationship between theories of world history and current trends towards globalization? In engaging with these questions, this course will explore different interpretations of history from the eighteenth century to the present. It will also examine competing explanations about the causes of globalization and the special status that has often been accorded to Western civilization in the shaping of world history. Particular emphasis will be devoted to developing writing skills and careful analysis of historical and philosophical texts. Readings include selections from G. W. F. Hegel, Karl Marx, Francis Fukuyama, Jared Diamond, and others.

TR 10:10–11:25 a.m.     Taran Kang      28503     Dominick LaCapra

HISTORY 1138.101

The Quest for Commercial Empires in Early America

Early America of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries was a remarkable place. Historians often portrayed trade during this period as Anglo-centric: primarily peopled with English and managed from London. In practice, trade had no core. It was not managed from any center—London, Amsterdam, or elsewhere; men and women on both sides of the Atlantic made strategies, choices, and decisions. Today, everyone thinks about globalization as something new. But here, in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, is the true beginning of it. This seminar will examine four Atlantic empires trading in early America—the Dutch, English, French, and Spanish. In this course, students will develop the skills necessary to analyze historical and contemporary writings and to communicate their ideas in written presentations.

TR 11:40–12:55 p.m.     Kim Todt      28504     Mary Beth Norton

ITALIAN 1105.101

The Humanities Confront Climate Change

Climate change is the most significant crisis of our age. Because greenhouse gas emissions have an effect on climate wherever they are produced, it is arguably the first truly global event. While scientists and social scientists work on solutions and policy, what role, if any, could the humanities play? Are literature, art, and cinema reduced to merely raising awareness about climate change? Or in their very impracticality, can the humanities provide a necessary response to the climate crisis? These are the fundamental questions that we will ask in this class as we read literary and philosophical texts, view films, study art works, and reflect on ways of writing about the crisis in a number of short essays and a longer research paper.

MWF 01:25–02:15 p.m.     Karen Pinkus      28479


Language, Thought, and Reality: Testing the Language Instinct

When children first acquire language, in all its complexity, they do so with such ease and effortlessness that it seems they are pre-programmed for it, as an instinct. Linguists are discovering common properties throughout the world’s languages; perhaps the universals are due to a common biology. In this seminar, we will examine the issues surrounding the debate on language innateness. We will focus on the contrast between taught and untaught knowledge of language. How do children learn to speak? How are languages similar to and different from each other? Do other animals have language? Do some people speak more “grammatically” than others? Readings will include Steven Pinker’s 1994 bestseller The Language Instinct. Students will write a series of short papers and a longer paper.

TR 10:10–11:25 a.m.     Esra Kesici      28480     Wayne Harbert


Language, Thought, and Reality: The Death of Language

This course will address issues related to language death, including: What does it mean for a language to be endangered? Why should we care? Are some languages more viable or valid than others? We will discuss issues such as the globalization of English, language as a vehicle for culture, linguistic prejudices, language revival programs, etc. This course will touch on languages and dialects around the world, including modern Hebrew (Israel), Mayan (Mexico), Bunong (Vietnam), and Ebonics (United States). Students will write short papers on a subset of the language issues discussed in class and one longer paper on a related issue of their choosing.

MWF 11:15–12:05 p.m.     Becky Thompson      28481     Wayne Harbert


Language, Thought, and Reality: From Cuneiform to Cryptography

When ancient writings are discovered we are faced with a challenge: how can we decipher an unknown script or an unknown language? Such puzzles have bedeviled scholars for centuries, and are not unlike the challenges a cryptanalyst faces when trying to break a code. In exploring the techniques behind the decipherment of such scripts as Egyptian Hieroglyphics and Linear B, this class will also address the nature of writing systems from Cuneiform, Chinese, and Meso-American to the modern day. Writing assignments will vary from formal descriptions of writing systems to analyses of decipherment techniques. No previous exposure to other writing systems is necessary.

TR 08:40–09:55 a.m.     Teresa Galloway      28482     Wayne Harbert


Language, Thought and Reality: Language and Gender

A significant number of our daily interactions are accomplished through language and experienced through the lens of gender. Through readings, discussion, and crtitcal writing assignments, we will examine the connection between language and gender. How does gender shape our communications, how our words are perceived, and how we perceive the language used by others? What type of language do we use to talk about gender? To consider these questions, we will draw on the academic literatures of both gender studies and linguistics, as well as primary sources from the media for examples of “talking about gender.” We will also examine the psychological literature on the results of experiments on gender and language use and cognition.

MW 02:55–04:10 p.m.     Sarah Courtney      28483     Wayne Harbert


Language, Thought and Reality: How to Build a Language

Hundreds of languages have been created for practical or artistic purposes, from existing material or from whole cloth. But to be legitimate they must be speakable, or at least believable. We will explore the linguistic tools necessary to compose a language, from sounds to words to sentences and full texts. We will also examine the history of constructed languages—which have succeeded, which have failed, and why? The ultimate goal will be for each student to begin constructing a new language of their own and to justify its linguistic validity and its practical or artistic merit.

MWF 09:05–09:55 a.m.     Alison Fisher      28484     Wayne Harbert


Language, Thought, and Reality: Words and Pictures

This class will explore the roles and relationship of language and visual imagery. Words and pictures are symbols for ideas, and we use both every day to communicate with one another. But how do they work? Imagine seeing a painting and a no-smoking sign hung next to each other on a wall: how do you know that one is art and the other is just an efficient way of delivering instructions? What happens when we translate images into words, and vice versa? Is a picture really worth a thousand words? Writing assignments will vary from formal descriptions of images and art objects at Cornell’s Johnson Museum to analytical essays about the work of linguists, philosophers, culture critics, and art historians such as Ferdinand de Saussure, Roland Barthes, Jacques Derrida, Meyer Schapiro, and Susan Sontag.

TR 02:55–04:10 p.m.     Dorit Abusch      28485


(Re) Writing SoCal

How do Latina/o writers imagine Los Angeles? Do we imagine cities or do they imagine us? This course will look at some contemporary work of Latina/o fiction of and on Southern California, while addressing various issues of identity, memory, and culture in the narration of social and material environments. We will discuss novels and short fiction from authors such as Helena Viramontes, Alex Espinoza, Héctor Tobar, and Felicia Luna Lemus; as well as non-fiction prose and critical essays. Students will be encouraged to engage with the texts and to cultivate a greater appreciation for literature through frequent writings of short response papers, class discussions, presentations, and essays.

MWF 10:10–11:00 a.m.      X-listed w/ Span 1102      28703


Aspects of Medieval Culture: The End Is Nigh—The Apocalypse in Medieval Europe

The coming of the first millennium, famines, plagues, war, and natural disasters were all seen by some during the Middle Ages as signs of the imminent end of the world. This course is about their ends of the world, and ours. It will begin by comparing different traditions of the apocalypse—the Bible’s Book of Revelation and the Old Norse Ragnarok, then examine the medieval tradition of apocalyptic writing through sagas, mystical writings, saints’ lives, homilies, and mystery plays (in translation). The class will conclude with some modern depictions of the apocalypse such as Good Omens, and a selection of post-apocalyptic movies. This course will hone students’ writing and analytic skills through class discussion, writing exercises, and formal essays.

MWF 09:05–09:55 a.m.     Rae Grabowski      28505     Masha Raskolnikov


Aspects of Medieval Culture: Saints, Miracles, and Demons

Smiting demons, healing the sick, and raising the dead were all part of the “job description” for medieval saints. Modern readers of saintly legends can’t help but ask: Did medieval people actually believe this stuff? How could they have? In this course, we will examine some of the diverse literature surrounding holy men and women in medieval Europe. Particular attention will be paid to the construction of sanctity in the medieval North, where admiring biographers presented confrontations between saints and supernatural folkloric creatures, troll-women among them. Addressing history, gender, and the role of the miraculous, class discussions will focus on close readings of primary texts in translation. Written assignments will include short response essays and a final research paper.

TR 10:10–11:25 a.m.     Joel Anderson      28506     Wayne Harbert


Aspects of Medieval Culture: Religious Violence, from Late Antiquity to the Reformation

This course examines the history of religiously motivated violence in the three Abrahamic traditions, from Late Antiquity through the Reformation. Topics will include theories of terrorism and how they apply to pre-modernity, the development of Just War Theory in Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, The Peace of God Movement, the Crusades, the Hashshashin, a sect of medieval Islamic assassins, massacres of Jews in the fifteenth century, violence between Christians, Muslims, and Jews in medieval Spain, the Reformation and Counter-Reformation, and Inquisition witch-hunts. Emphasis will be given to how the use of violence for religious purposes was justified in each of the aforementioned cases, and how these justifications changed over time. To aid this inquiry, students will write a number of essays, and one longer research project.

TR 11:40–12:55 p.m.     Eliza Buhrer      28507     Duane Corpis


Aspects of Medieval Culture: Longing and Belonging—The Idea of Self

Is individuality a blessing or a curse? How is it tempered by the need for others? How does community inform the notion of the “self”? In this course, we will explore selections of Ancient and medieval literature such as works by Catullus, Ovid, Augustine, the unknown authors of the Anglo-Saxon “elegies,” and others to study how the earliest forms of these questions in Western culture were defined and how they affected the development of literature. We will learn strategies for critical analysis of all literature, paying special attention to diction and literary structure, and we will focus on developing writing skills to treat such works in these terms. Student writing will include informal reading journals, short response papers, and longer expository essays.

MW 07:30–08:45 p.m.     Matthew Hanson      28508     Paul Hyams


Aspects of Medieval Culture:Go to Hell—Sin and Suffering in the Middle Ages

In this course, we shall examine the medieval Christian concepts of sin, punishment, and redemption, and focus on the ways medieval people tried to avoid eternal damnation. On one hand, we will study the theological components of sin and salvation and, on the other, how sin was generally understood and remedied in medieval society. Our discussions will include topics such as Original Sin, the Seven Deadly Sins, atonement theory, the power of dark emotions, confession, saints, demons, torture, and injurious self-discipline. Readings will be drawn from sources such as the Bible, Dante’s Divine Comedy, and selections from medieval theological works, prayer books, sermon-stories, and saints’ lives. Assignments will include a combination of long and short essays and weekly responses to the material.

TR 08:40–09:55 a.m.     Amanda Mita      28509     Masha Raskolnikov


Literature of Chivalry: Beyond the Round Table

Love the romances and adventures of King Arthur and his chivalric Knights of the Round Table? Well, you’re not alone; this story, one of the great world myths original to the British Isles, has fascinated people for almost a millennium. This class offers an in-depth study of what is now a British icon through a series of formal and informal writing assignments and lively class discussion. We will read the earliest Celtic Arthurian legends in the Mabinogion and Geoffrey of Monmouth, then move on to the great medieval romances of Chrétien de Troyes and Béroul and the final flowering of Arthuriana in the Middle Ages with Mallory’s Morte D’Arthur. We will then turn to nineteenth-century nostalgia for the past with the Arthurian Revival.

TR 01:25–02:40 p.m.     Sarah Haughey      28510     Thomas Hill


Legends, Fantasy, and Vision: Giants, Trolls, and Elves—Scandinavian Mythology and Folklore

This course will explore the belief systems of the Scandinavian peoples before their conversion to Christianity, as well as their folk-tales and traditions, some of which persist until the present day. Be prepared for giants, trolls, elves, dwarfs, shape-changers, fratricide, and cannibalism as we read texts such as the Eddas, the legendary Fornaldursögur, ballads, and folk-tales from various Scandinavian nations. The focus of this course will be primarily text-oriented, but we will occasionally explore archeological and art-historical evidence. We will develop tools for analyzing closely and critically these stories and other materials, and we will cultivate skills for writing in various ways about them.

MWF 11:15–12:05 p.m.     Russell Stepp      28511     Thomas Hill


Legends, Fantasy, and Vision: Metamorphosis and Monstrosity in the Middle Ages

Friedrich Nietzsche warns that “he who fights monsters must take care lest he become a monster.” In this class, students will engage constructions of monstrosity in medieval texts, but hopefully not become monsters themselves. Beginning with Ovid’s Metamorphoses, we will examine texts where the boundaries of culture and corporeality are transgressed and will explore the attitudes creating these hybrids. In addressing monstrosity, we will also deal with aesthetics, otherness, religion, sexuality, and violence. Readings will be drawn from various genres, including early epics such as the Tain and Beowulf, courtly adventures in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Marie de France’s Lais, marvel texts and bestiaries, and theological and scientific discussion. Writing assignments will involve informal responses, creative exercise, and research and analysis-based papers.

MW 08:40–09:55 a.m.     Danielle Cudmore      28512     Wayne Harbert

MUSIC 1701.101

Social Controversies in Operas and Musicals

An evening spent in the opera house or a Broadway theater will entertain us, but it may also confront us with important social questions. Many composers and librettists did not shy away from the vexing social issues of their day—gender relationships, racial conflict, power imbalances, political struggles—but put them on center stage. We will examine several such works, including South Pacific, Cabaret, Porgy and Bess, and Carmen, all of which foreground social issues and have provoked controversy that will provide plenty of fodder for writing assignments and for classroom discussions. As part of our contemplation of these works, we will investigate how the music inflects our interpretations—that is, how the composer’s decisions can shade the meanings of the texts.

MW 08:40–09:55 a.m.     Rebecca Harris-Warrick     28513

MUSIC 1701.102

Music of War and Peace

In 2003, the BBC reported that the US Army had used Metallica’s Enter Sandman and Barney’s I Love You in the interrogation of Iraqi detainees, playing the songs repeatedly at high volume inside of shipping containers. Music’s use as a weapon is a recent phenomenon, but music and war weave a complex history together. How does music engender or mediate international conflict? Topics include music on the battlefield, music and national identity, and music in/as diplomacy. We will also consider composers’ responses to war, including Britten’s War Requiem, Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time, and Penderecki’s Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima. Students will develop critical thinking and writing skills by engaging with classic texts (including Plato, Rousseau, Adorno), recent writings, and musical works.

MWF 12:20–01:10 p.m.     Mark Ferraguto      28514     Rebecca Harris-Warrick


Resistance and Accommodation in Modern Palestinian Literature

Is Palestinian literature a literature of resistance or one of accommodation? How have Palestinian writers, poets, and filmmakers imagined the Palestinian story from their various locations in Israel, in the Occupied Territories, and in exile? These questions are explored in the writings of Fadwa Tuqan, Ghassan Kanafani, Imil Habibi, and Edward Said. Students will read these essays, short stories, and novels to understand what it means to be Palestinian when a Palestinian state remains out of reach and the Palestinian nation has been fragmented and dispersed over different locations. By writing a series of essays and a final research paper, students will reflect on life in exile, life under occupation, and the tension inherent in identifying as both Israeli and Palestinian.

TR 10:10–11:25 a.m.     Rose-Louissa Oburra      28515     Deborah Starr


Philosophy in Practice: Science and Reality

Many people believe that science is special because of its role in contemporary life. Think of cellphones, iPods, the development of medical treatments, and sequencing the genome. But what is it about science that makes it so special? In this course, we will explore questions relating to the nature of science, drawing on writings in philosophy of science. We will explore questions such as: What’s the difference between science and other types of enquiry? What’s the relationship between theory and evidence? Does science track reality? Is there such a thing as scientific objectivity? The objective of the course is to help you develop thinking and writing skills through the discipline of philosophy. You will write papers in multiple drafts aimed at developing and enhancing these skills.

MW 02:55–04:10 p.m.     Subrena Smith      28539     Richard Miller


Philosophical Problems: The Nature and Value of Knowledge

As a student, one of your main objectives is to learn—that is, to acquire knowledge. This is true whether you pursue knowledge for its own sake or merely to earn a degree. But in your endeavor, do you ever wonder what exactly knowledge is, and why it’s worth pursuing? Do you ever wonder whether it’s possible to know anything with certainty? In this course, we will explore these questions by focusing on three problems about knowledge—the Gettier Problem, the Value Problem, and the Problem of Skepticism. Some readings will be drawn from classical sources (e.g., Plato and Descartes), but most will come from contemporary texts. Assignments will aim to develop writing and critical thinking skills.

MW 07:30–08:45 p.m.     Lawrence Bruce-Robertson      28540     Richard Miller


Philosophical Problems: Science and Objectivity

By examining the writings of feminists, philosophers, scientists, and sociologists, we will address and develop answers through discussion and writing assignments to some of the following questions: Is objectivity a characteristic of individual researchers, methods of inquiry, or knowledge? Does science consist of objective truths about the world or is it the product of cultural traditions? What separates good science from bad science? What are the effects of gender on science? Is objectivity necessarily opposed to subjectivity? Is there a unique standpoint which can provide objective knowledge?

MWF 09:05–09:55 a.m.     Neelam Sethi      28541


Philosophical Problems: Hedonism, Ancient and Modern

What is good? What is valuable? Hedonists say that, ultimately, only pleasure is valuable and only pain is bad. In this course, we will investigate the plausibility of this somewhat radical view by discussing the works of historically influential hedonists and their critics from Ancient Greece and from modern Britain. First, we will focus on ancient texts written by and about Epicurus. Then, we will focus on works by Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill, and Henry Sidgwick, who revived an Epicurean-style account of value and ethics that complemented a push for social and legal reforms. Class time will be spent mostly in discussion of our readings and in preparation for our writing assignments, which will concentrate on exposing, analyzing, and evaluating their philosophical views.

MW 02:55–04:10 p.m.     Andrew Alwood      28543     Richard Miller


Philosophical Problems: Relativism

If you are not a relativist in some sense about some things, you have a friend who is. Just what does it mean to be a relativist about, for example, morality? What should one be a relativist about? The philosophical aim of the seminar will be to analyze and to get clear on our own thoughts on this difficult subject. To help our progress, we shall study the work of some recent and past philosophers perplexed by these questions. Our practical aim will be to learn to write as clearly as we think.

MW 08:40–09:55 a.m.     Theodore Korzukhin      28544     Richard Miller


Philosophical Problems: Skepticism About Ethics

Can there be ethics without religion? Does evolutionary psychology show us that genuine altruism is impossible? Should we accept cultural relativism and reject the existence of objective moral values? In this class, we will explore different ways in which thinkers have challenged the existence of objective moral values. Throughout the semester we will focus on investigating four or five specific challenges. Since many of these challenges come from outside of philosophy, we will look first at what philosophers have said about objective values, and then in discussion and writing assignments, apply the tools and methods of philosophy to texts written by non-philosophers. The writing assignments will be of two kinds: critical essays in which students provide an analysis of one or more essays, or argumentative papers, where they are to argue for or against some philosophical thesis. The students will also keep a journal, in which they are encouraged to keep track of questions that they encounter while reading.

TR 01:25–02:40 p.m.     Zach Abrahams      28545     Richard Miller


Philosophical Problems: Generation and Destruction—An Introduction to Metaphysics

Do people, trees, and chairs exist? In this course, we will examine arguments for the claim that ordinary objects like these do not exist. Of course, most of us believe that babies are born, statues are sculpted, and that there are trees in the arts quad. Nevertheless, there are powerful arguments against these intuitive beliefs. Our goal will be to assess these arguments, examining the relevant metaphysics that support them. Readings will primarily be drawn from contemporary sources, but some attention will be given to ancient articulations of the various arguments we consider. Philosophical writing, at its best, is controlled, clear, and maximally effective in communicating the thoughts of the author. Writing assignments will focus on developing these virtues through clearly explicating, and carefully assessing the arguments presented in the readings.

TR 02:55–04:10 p.m.     Scott O’Connor      28546     Richard Miller


Philosophical Problems: Free Will

Do we have free will? If all of our thoughts and actions are determined by such factors as our genetics, upbringing, and environment, do we ever really act freely, and are we responsible for what we do? In this course, we will examine views, both historical and contemporary, that propose solutions to this problem. Drawing on class discussion and texts on the subject by such writers as Hume, Hobbes, and Frankfurt, essay assignments will aim at helping students develop the ability to critically assess these views, and to construct clear and effective arguments to support their own positions.

TR 01:25–02:40 p.m.     Sean Stapleton      28547     Richard Miller


Philosophical Conversations: Parfit’s Reasons and Persons

Is it more rational for me to want my own life to go as well as possible, regardless of how others’ lives go—or is it more rational to want things to go, on the whole, as well as possible for everyone? Is it rational to care more about what happens to me in the future than about what has happened in the past? Do my past desires, or desires I know I will have in the future, determine what aims I should pursue now—or should only present desires matter? What assumptions about time, the self, and rationality underlie our answers to such questions? We will work from a text that makes its own argumentative structure admirably clear, and will try to understand and engage with the author’s arguments in a similarly straightforward manner, both in the classroom and on paper.

TR 08:40–09:55 a.m.     Michelle Kosch      28548


Evolution: Evaluating the Public Debate

Though we live in a world infused with science and technology, most of the general public and many Cornell students do not believe in evolution. Evolution, the theory that organisms are connected by genealogy and change over time, is well supported and accepted as true by the scientific community. Nevertheless, there is an emotional debate outside scientific circles about the legitimacy of evolution as an explanation for the diversity of life on earth, and the existence of humans in particular. One outcome has been an effort to disrupt scientific education through political activities. Readings will explore the evidence for evolution and aspects of political controversy, both current and historical. Zimmer’s Evolution: The Triumph of an Idea will be supplemented with current articles and broadcasts. Assignments will emphasize the development of critical thinking skills and writing styles used to inform and to persuade.

TR 02:55–04:10 p.m.     Rosemary Loria      28549


The Psychology of Consumerism: Does Buying Make us Unhappy?

This course will examine the link between consumerism and psychological health. Among the questions we will be exploring are: Does placing importance on material goods lead to depression and anxiety? Do experiential purchases make us happier than material purchases? Why do people pay to feel sad or scared (e.g., sad/scary movies/books)? What kinds of consumer situations lead to higher satisfaction? Readings for the course will come from psychology, marketing, and economic journals, as well as popular press articles (e.g., The New York Times, The New Yorker, and The Economist). Part of the aim of this course will involve re- evaluating the assumed psychological consequences of consumer behaviors that we are all familiar with. The readings lead to a base of knowledge that will allow students to come up with their own ideas for a theoretical review paper for their final assignment.

MW 02:55–04:10 p.m.     Jun Fukukura      28550     Melissa Ferguson


Perception Cognition Development: Language and the Body—Theories of Embodied Cognition

We know what grasping an idea means. But do we physically grasp ideas? When we say “we’re rolling,” are we really? Language is replete with metaphors depicting physical actions. Then, is a body necessary for language learning? Can we learn motion verbs without performing bodily movements in the environment? Could we acquire the word “grasp” if we never grasped things? Would blind people understand the sentence “Look up” like sighted people? How would tropical people understand “white like snow”? In this course, we will address the aforementioned issues by reading and writing relevant material. Lakoff and Johnson’s Metaphors We Live By exemplifies material that will be subjected to written debates. You will learn to structure an academic essay and to cogently defend your embodiment stance in writing.

TR 08:40–09:55 a.m.     Catalina Iricinschi      28551     James Cutting


The Craft of Storytelling: Decameron

All of us tell stories for a variety of reasons—to entertain, to console, to teach, to persuade—to discover and explore both our inner lives and the world we inhabit. Stories are one of the prime ways in which we make sense of a world that is not always propitious. They serve as instruments by which we seek to shape our future. In this seminar, we shall consider how the craft of storytelling helps us face the task of living: the love and the happiness and the community we seek, the virtues we espouse, our talents and our vulnerabilities. Our principal reading (in English translation) will be a masterpiece of European literature, Giovanni Boccaccio’s Decameron (ca. 1350–52), which showcases one hundred stories told by ten young Florentines fleeing the Black Death of 1348. Students will write both analytic and personal essays.

MWF 09:05–09:55 a.m.     Marilyn Migiel      28516


In The Face of Brutality

Writers in Spain and Latin America have always engaged with complex political and social issues. In this course we will focus on how novels have addressed themes such as personal responsibility, the nature of truth and the survival of the human condition amidst political instability and repression. Specifically, we will examine how humans cope in the face of brutality, whether through complicity, resistance, humor or madness. Works to be studied include: Javier Cercas’s The Soldiers of Salamis, Junot Díaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Laura Restrepo’s Delirium, and Roberto Bolaño’s By Night in Chile. We will also do a screening of Guillermo Del Toro’s film Pan’s Labyrinth. Students will write brief essays on a particular aspect of their choosing from the readings culminating in a research paper due at the semesterís end.

TR 08:40–09:55 a.m.     Tamra Fallman      28552


The Difficult Female: Rebellion and Marriage in Cervantes and Shakespeare

How do you solve a problem like Katerina or Preciosa? Simple: control her through marriage. In this course, we will examine how both Cervantes and Shakespeare give their female characters a great deal of latitude, allowing them to resist their gendered cultural expectations. Rebellion, whether expressed through cross-dressing, mingling with gypsies, or sexual infidelity, lends itself well to comedy, but it can only go so far, and as is the case in much early melodrama, order must be restored. Some of the themes we will explore include the female as the caretaker of man’s honor, woman as a harbinger of male destruction, the feminine muse and the protesting female. Readings will include Cervantes’s Exemplary Tales and Interludes, as well Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew and Othello. Students will write brief essays on a particular aspect of their choosing from the readings culminating in a research paper at the semester’s end.

TR 10:10–11:25 a.m.     Tamra Fallman      28553


Civilization, Barbarism and the “Other”: Examining the Latin American Short Story

Latin American literature has always had a strong short story tradition, so much so that Jorge Luis Borges, arguably the most influential Latin American writer of the 20th century only wrote fiction in this genre. In this course, we will read stories that span 200 years of Latin American history and culture, and we will explore such themes as: the clash of modernity and traditional societies; civilization and barbarism, and the dominating force of the ‘other,’ whether it be a supernatural force or the urges of one’s subconscious. Works will include stories from Dario, Peri Rossi, Borges, Garcia Marquez, Cortázar, and Vargas Llosa. Students will write brief essays on a particular aspect of their choosing from the readings culminating in a research paper at the semester’s end.

TR 01:25–02:40 p.m.     Tamra Fallman      28554


Reporting from Hell

When you’re being bombed, hunted down, or otherwise persecuted, can you objectively report on what’s happening? Does your report have special value compared with that of a bystander? Is your on-the-spot report more reliable than testimony you give months or years later? We will address these and related questions through discussion and analytic writing about the legendary Edward R. Murrow’s radio broadcasts during the bombing of London in World War II; diaries kept by Jewish children hiding from the Nazis; and a report smuggled out of a Soviet labor camp for women political prisoners. We will also examine documentary film footage; oral testimony of Holocaust and Soviet camp survivors; and recent reports from Human Rights Watch, newspapers, and the Internet.

TR 02:55–04:10 p.m.     Sidney Orlov      28555



How does propaganda work? Does it necessarily involve lies? Why is so much of it kitsch? What is its curious relationship to religion? We will explore these questions in the context of propaganda in Soviet Russia, the United States, and Nazi Germany, especially World War II propaganda for domestic consumption. Our wide-ranging materials will include scholarly writing on propaganda; propaganda posters; speeches by Stalin; Life magazine advertisements; films from Frank Capra’s famous series Why We Fight; propaganda advice from Hitler and his Minister for Propaganda; and Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will—sometimes called the greatest propaganda film ever made. If time permits, we will look at some current American propaganda and anti-propaganda legislation submitted to Congress. Our essays will be analytic.

TR 11:40–12:55 p.m.     Sidney Orlov      28556

SPANISH 1102.101

(Re) Writing SoCal

How do Latina/o writers imagine Los Angeles? Do we imagine cities or do they imagine us? This course will look at some contemporary work of Latina/o fiction of and on Southern California, while addressing various issues of identity, memory, and culture in the narration of social and material environments. We will discuss novels, short fiction, and poetry from authors such as Helena Viramontes, Alex Espinoza, Héctor Tobar, and Lorna Dee Cervantes. Non-fiction prose and critical readings will also be assigned. Students will be encouraged to engage with the texts and to cultivate a greater appreciation for literature through frequent writings of short response papers, class discussions, presentations, and essays.

MWF 10:10–11:00 a.m.     Oscar Figueredo      28563     Tamra Fallman


Health, Risk, and Society

Why are over six million American schoolchildren on psychotropic drugs? Why is there a rise in eating disorders? How do sex, gender, social class, and poverty impact health? Why do more and more people suffer from attention-deficit disorder? Does medical information on the Internet turn us into “cyberchondriacs”? In this course, we will discuss how health, illness, and medicine are influenced by society, culture, and environment. We will examine why diseases are distributed unequally, why women live longer than men, and why more and more human conditions are defined as medical problems. We will also discuss how medical professionals write about their patients, how scientific articles are structured, and we will practice how to make an effective, valid, and well-structured argument in the social sciences.

MW 02:55–04:10 p.m.     Christine Leuenberger      28557


Technology and Society: The Histories of Computing

Computers have become ubiquitous parts of our modern lives, but what did they mean to earlier generations? In this seminar, students will consider the competing narratives that have been told about the invention of computers. By comparing these stories, students will learn not only about the role technology plays in society but also to think critically about the “histories” they read. Topics for consideration will include the role of the military versus that of business in the development of the mainframe, and the role of the counterculture in the development of the personal computer. Readings will include selections from Fred Turner’s From Counterculture to Cyberculture and Paul Edwards’s The Closed World. Short essay assignments will help students learn to write and think critically about differing historical narratives.

TR 10:10–11:25 a.m.     Hansen Hsu      28558     Trevor Pinch


Technology and Society: Science and the Arts

Using Romantic poetry, Blade Runner, Surrealism, glowing bunnies, and glass ocean creatures, this course will survey poetry, music, film, and visual arts inspired by nature, biology, robotics, design, space, and more. We will think and write about the ways art and science intermingle to create new ideas about the worlds we live in and the worlds we imagine. This course will complicate easy divisions between science and art and ask students to be engaged in new ways of thinking. Along the way, we will get to know some Cornell campus resources and write both critically and creatively.

MW 02:55–04:10 p.m.     Hannah Rogers      28564     Judith Reppy


Science and Society: Being Sick in Modern America—Defining Illness and Marketing Drugs

Pharmaceutical products are a ubiquitous presence in our daily lives. In the US drug advertisements, marketing treatments for conditions as diverse as hypertension and herpes, dominate commercial breaks on television. But what influence do these ads have on medical care in American society? How do these ads shape what counts as a “medical” condition? How does drug marketing affect our understanding of the roles of the doctor and the patient in treating illness? This course explores such questions by situating drugs in a broader social context, examining how pharmaceutical companies persuade doctors to prescribe their brands, investigating what people expect drugs to do for them, and considering how these expectations have changed over time. Are drugs used only to cure illness, or also to transform personalities and bodies? Are conditions previously seen as personal or moral (for example, obesity or alcoholism), increasingly seen as medical conditions susceptible to pharmaceutical interventions? Students will address these questions in regular writing assignments.

TR 02:55–04:10 p.m.     Ilil Naveh-Benjamin      28559     Stephen Hilgartner


When Props Attack!

What happens when a prop takes on a life of its own? Often, props are of secondary importance at best, and sometimes they may be little more than set dressing. Some plays, however, actually turn on a prop and its movement, be it Desdemona’s handkerchief or a ring that proves the true identity of a beautiful maiden. Other props rebel against characters (think of Donald Duck!) or even against actors, by malfunctioning during a performance. This course will explore the nature of props, focusing on the many ways in which they can dominate a play. Texts may include Othello, Plautus’s Rope, Labiche’s Italian Straw Hat, and a Charlie Chaplin film. Writing assignments will be critical essays exploring the theatrical lives of props in our plays.

TR 10:10–11:25 a.m.     Sarah Powers      28560     Sabine Haenni


Murdering Maids: Staging Women and Violence

Women were killing their lovers, husbands, parents, children, and themselves long before the beginning of Western drama, and we’ve been writing and staging plays about it ever since. But how do those plays represent these women? What do they tell us about social attitudes, gender relations, and breaking the law? Lady Macbeth is often thought of as a fiend, but is there a way in which she might problematize that label? This course will look at a wide range of plays such as the Greek tragedy Medea, the musical Chicago, and Suzan- Lori Parks’s edgy Fucking A, in order to explore questions about gender, violence, and dramatic representation. Writing assignments will require close reading as well as comparative, creative, and analytical writing.

TR 11:40–12:55 p.m.     Aoise Stratford      28561     Sabine Haenni


Performance and the Five Senses

Is it true that we’re living in a “visual age”? Are some of our senses more important than others? This seminar will explore a variety of themes relating to sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. From Helen Keller to Smell-o-Vision, studying how the senses are used in performance can help us ask valuable questions about society, art, language, and the human body. Writing assignments will range from short responses to formal critical essays based on a variety of materials—readings, video, and audio—including plays for the theatre, radio, performance art, television, and cinema.

MWF 11:15–12:05 p.m.     Clare Hane      28668     Sabine Haenni


An Introduction to Writing in the University

This writing seminar is designed for students who need more focused attention in order to master the expectations of academic writing. The course emphasizes the analytic and argumentative writing and critical reading essential for university-level work. With small classes and with weekly student/teacher conferences, each section is shaped to respond to the needs of students in that particular class.

Do not request this course on a ballot. Students who believe they need this kind of intensive work should either call 255-6349 or come to 174 Rockefeller Hall to make an appointment with a member of the Workshop staff. “S/U” grades only.

WRITING 1400.101

Common Ground: Education Beyond the Ivory Tower

Earn course credit while learning about and working within the Ithaca community. This course on educational practices in the US combines academics with outreach and offers a unique opportunity for students who desire to be active in tutoring or mentoring in our community to enhance that practice through critical engagement with texts relevant to their experience. Participate in discussions about readings focused on ideologies and practices that have created the current state of education in the US (e.g., Jefferson, Baldwin, Barber, Trask, Leguin, Kozol, Reich). Write essays that explore class, gender, and ethnic diversity and how those components become implicated in how our schools carry out the mission of providing free and public education locally and nationally.

TR 01:25–02:40 p.m.     Darlene Evans      28702

The Public Service Center is available to arrange a mentoring partnership with interested students not already active in such a program. Contact Amy Somchanhmavong ayk3@cornell.edu

WRITING 1420.101

Opening up New Worlds Through Research and Rhetoric

Step through the Cornell Library gateway and receive a semester-long guided tour through one of the world’s most amazing research libraries––its vast search engines, its abundant print and electronic collections, its precious special collections and archives. This introduction to college research explores using data bases, evaluating information, and engaging both to produce effective college-level writing. Study techniques of analysis for converting scholarly information into thesis, synthesizing and acknowledging sources, developing voice and style, crafting technically and rhetorically sophisticated prose. Readings provide models of interdisciplinary scholarship. Drawing upon personal, scholarly, or professional interests and experiences, students select topics and design research portfolios that highlight significant analytic research. This course is especially appropriate for students who feel they have only just begun developing their analytic research skills.

MWF 12:20–01:10 p.m.     Darlene Evans      28576 This course is not appropriate for upperclasspersons.